Coronavirus: GABA postpones Andrew Ifill Knockout tournament

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Following the announcement of the country’s first case of the COVID-19 virus, the Georgetown Amateur Basketball Association (GABA) said on Thursday (March 12), that they have decided to postpone the start of their inaugural Andrew Ifill Knockout tournament.

President of the Association, Jermaine Slater, revealed in a statement that the postponement of the tournament which was slated to bounce off on Sunday, was agreed upon after the GABA’s affiliated players/clubs reached out in concern, especially after President David Granger called for public gatherings to be discouraged in an address to the nation on Wednesday.

“Despite only having one known case, the GABA is as strong as our members (clubs, players and officials) and as such, we are here to make our playing environment one where persons are comfortable and safe,” Salter highlighted.

The Guyana Defence Force (GDF) Second Lieutenant, who was elected to the helm of the GABA in January, noted that “the GABA will keep an ear to the ground and wait for a word on the country’s medical minds on what it will be best-suited to host the Andrew Ifill Knockout tournament, and other planned tournaments.”

“Sportsmen and women, especially those involved in contact-sports, are at high-risk of being contaminated and as such, the GABA would like to issue a call to all involved in the sport of basketball locally, even if you play just for fun or to keep fit, to take the necessary precautions being advertised by the World Health Organisations, especially, to safeguard yourself and family,” said Slater.

The Andrew Ifill Knockout tournament will celebrate the life of the late Andrew Ifill, a former national player who passed away last October at age 40.

The tournament will be contested in the Open and Under-21 divisions, as Slater explained that the new GABA administration “has moved to exclude Second Division from our tenure to try and have more basketball played at the Open level, which would give more persons a chance to actually play the game. A lot of teams have a lot of players and sometimes these players don’t get to see the court.”

Whenever the tournament starts, Eagles, Colts, Sonics, UG-A and UG-B will contest the Under-21 category, while Guardians, Colts, UG-A, Vikings, Sonics, Pacesetters A and B, Eagles, Kobras and Ravens are down to play in the Open division.

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