Organisers hoping for biggest Road to Mecca tournament
By Treiston Joseph
The Guyana Amateur Basketball Federation (GABF) is hoping that the Road to Mecca IV will be the biggest edition of the tournament to date. The official launch took place on Saturday at Palm Court on Main Street.
Unlike the previous three editions of the tournament which were contested on a straight knockout, this tournament will have a round-robin stage before the semi-final round.
President of the GABF, Nigel Hinds, declared that the federation will aim to mix quality games with good entertainment as it aims to give fans a complete product with the NBA being the “benchmark”.
Further, Hinds noted that the main aim of the tournament is to showcase Guyana’s best players on a national stage.
Vice-President of the GABF, Michael Singh, shared that “progress” of the sport is also part of the emphasis of the tournament, despite having some drama in years past.
“We want to get better and that’s the aim, even though we have seen out fair share of drama; sometimes a little drama is good for the game and we have moved passed that and are making progress,” Singh stated.
The top team will walk away with $600,000 in a 10-team race to the finish. There will be two groups of five teams with the top two teams from each group qualifying for the semi-finals. The final is billed for December 24.
There will be four teams from Linden, five from Georgetown and one from Berbice competing for the title. Hinds noted that the level of basketball in Berbice is the reason for the county having only one team in the tournament.
“It is no slight on Berbice but I would be surprised if they are to win a game in their group; it would be miraculous for them to pull that off and that speaks to the level of play in the region,” Hinds shared.
The tournament will commence in December 1 with three games, the first of which starts at 15:00h.