‘Jackie Chan’ spearheads another Guinness Streetball success for Sparta Boss
Ranked the lowest of all the teams that qualified for the Guinness Greatest of the Street National Streetball Championship, Sparta Boss rose to the occasion to win their fourth national title at Durban Park in the wee hours of Sunday.
Since 2017, when they last won a national title, Sparta would have lost some footing in the pecking order, with youthful teams nailing them in knockout matches.
They shrugged off the rain and battled through to edge Melanie ‘B’, two-time East Coast Demerara Champions, 1-0, compliments of marque player Gregory ‘Jackie Chan’ Richardson in the ninth minute.
The one and only goal of the riveting contest secured the championship prize of $500,000, while second got half that amount.
In the third-place playoff, 2018 champions Gold-is-Money had to settle for third ahead of Brothers United. Hubert Pedro scored in the eighth minute and brother Michael Pedro in the 26th. They pocketed $150,000 and Brothers $100,000.
The semi-finals were where the big drama occurred. The favoured Gold-is-Money got a shock from Melanie ‘B’. The game looked certain to end in a stalemate, but the East Coast unit hit late via Ryan Seales (19th) and Odell Gulliver (26th).
Likewise, Sparta lived on knife’s edge against West Demerara’s Brothers United. They edged home 2-1 with Ryan Hackett scoring in the fourth, before Richardson came up with the winner in the 25th after Andrew Murray Jr equalised in the 18th.
The national championship was contested over two days with 16 teams, which came from six zones (Georgetown, Berbice, Linden, East Coast Demerara, Bartica and West Demerara/East Bank Demerara) competing on a straight knock-out basis.
Colours Boutique joined with Banks DIH Limited as a co-sponsor of the event.