Rawle Toney 3×3 Basketball Classic to bring ‘short version’ excitement
By Avenash Ramzan
There’s T20 cricket, there’s futsal and now there’s 3×3 basketball.
The short version of the sport is set to excite on November 9-10 when Sport Journalist Rawle Toney stages his inaugural 3×3 Basketball Classic at the Burnham Court on Middle Street, Georgetown.
A former player himself, Toney said this event has long been at the planning stage, and he is now very enthused that it’s time for execution.
He described launch on Friday at the FireSide and Grill on Garnett Street as “a very proud moment for me.”
“This is something I actually wanted to do for a very long time and I think with all that’s happening right now in Guyana in terms of sports I felt as though basketball is being left out,” Toney stated.
“If you look at every discipline that is being played locally, the shortened version or the shortened format of that sport is really being utilised by the federation and private promoters to really push it. For example, T20 cricket is really about entertainment and partying while still focusing on those who still love the sport- 3×3 basketball is no different.”
Toney made reference to the BIG3 that is being played in the USA, noting that “Guyana is being really left behind so I capitalised on that and reached out to ANSA McAL, FireSide and Grill and a couple of other sponsors who bought into it right away.”
Those other partners are the Guyana Lottery Company’s Let’s Bet Sport, ‘STUFF’, Slingerz Family Entertainment, the National Sports Commission and Trophy Stall.
Meaningful exposure for players is also a major component of the event as, according to Toney, the tournament will be registered on Planet 3×3 on FIBA, the world governing body for the sport.
“And that in itself will put the tournament in an international spectrum. So let’s say the Federation has to select a national team in a month or right after this tournament they would turn to the Rawle Toney Classic to select those players to represent Guyana going forward, which is huge in itself,” he explained.
Toney stressed that this format lends to entertainment and fast-paced action, as the games are only 10 minutes long, played in running time.
Meanwhile, there has been overwhelming support in terms of players/teams interest, Toney pointed out, adding that players stand to benefit handsomely through the cash incentives on offer.
The winning team will pocket $300,000, while second will take home $100,000 and third $50,000. The Most Valuable Player in the final will receive one basketball sneakers of his choice.
Junior Hercules, representing the Guyana Amateur Basketball Federation, said the world governing body FIBA boasts of the 3×3 format being “the fastest growing outdoor sports in the world.”
“It’s not as big as we would like it to be in this part of the world, but this (competition) is one of many we hope future promoters can engage in. By extension as well the Federation would like to commit to a three-point shootout as part of the tournament and the winner of that three-point shootout will earn $25,000,” Hercules commented.
ANSA McAL Non-Alcoholic Brand Manager Fharis Mohamed and Mackeson Brand Manager Keon Persaud both expressed their company’s delight to be part of the initiative through Mackeson Stout and the Rush Energy Drink.
The tournament will employ a round-robin/knockout format.