Road to Mecca V tips off this weekend

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By Treiston Joseph

The fifth edition of the Road to Mecca National Club Championship was launched on Thursday evening with the Guyana Amateur Basketball Federation (GABF) expanding the tournament to 12 teams.

The fifth tournament will hit the ground running this weekend with more energy than last year as the GABF aims to pull off highly competitive and entertaining tournament.

Vice-President of the GABF, Michael Singh, noted that while the federation “failed miserably” with last year’s tournament, the quick turnaround between championships in his estimation shows “commitment” to the Road to Mecca Tournament.

“When we started this tournament we did not see it becoming what it is today, but we want it to become a semi-professional tournament where players can be paid for their services and will have contractual arrangements,” Singh mentioned.

President of the GABF, Nigel Hinds, also noted the reason for expanding the tournament from 10 to 12 teams.

“We thought that this is our mandate, this is our motto to develop basketball and we felt like having competitive games is extremely important and we did not want to deny teams that can be competitive and winning games left out of the national club championships, so this is what drove us to expanding to 12 teams,” Hinds stated.

Further, Hinds established that the biggest issue is filling the Sports Hall, but guaranteed that the federation will work on that aspect since Hinds is of the opinion that “sports and entertainment goes hand in hand.”

Hinds urged the fans to support their teams during the tournament and placed responsibility on teams for developing their fan-base. 

The tournament will tip off on Saturday (April 7) with four games beginning from 16:00h at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall with the winning team set to receive $600,000 and the MVP $200,000.

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