No champions were crowned on Saturday evening after the final of the Road to Mecca III National Club Basketball Championships ended in players walking off the court of the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall.
Dave Causway takes a lay-up during the final
The Retrieve Raiders (in grey) walk off the court while the Bounty Colts look on in bewilderment
The poor officiating during the night’s final between Linden’s Retrieve Raiders and Georgetown’s Bounty Colts reached its tipping point in the fourth quarter when the Raiders’ Omally Sampson and Abdulla Hamid were give technical fouls with 9:18 to play in the game.
Raider players continued to query the call by officials which resulted in the ejection of Raiders star player Dwayne Roberts.
The ejection added fuel to an already burning fire as the Raiders disgusted, exited the playing area while clearly showing their frustrations.
With the game nicely poised at 54-51 in favour of the Colts, President of the Guyana Amateur Basketball Federation (GABF) Nigel Hinds intervened by viewing footage that showed no clear indication of the initial foul called by the referee.
Nevertheless, after 40 minutes of deliberations and Hinds advocating to a change in the call, the Colts decided to walk-off due to the behaviour of the Raiders which ended the final with the score on 54-51.
After all the drama, Roberts related to the media that his Raiders squad walked off in protest of the poor officiating for the duration of the tournament but were prepared to play after a talk with Hinds albeit under protest.
However, Singh was disgusted with the action of the Raiders and Roberts and highlighted that indiscipline such as was depicted cannot be condoned and shows a bad face to sponsors and fans; even going as far to say that the Raiders stunt will set the sport back further than it already is.
Meanwhile, the game itself was physical and intense as expected as both teams traded buckets and exchanged the lead for brief periods.
At the point of abandonment Shelroy Thomas led all scorers with10 points while Shane Webster and Dave Causway scored three points each. Jason Alonzo was leading the scoring for the Raiders with six points.
The third place game saw last year’s champs Trinity Grid Holding (TGH) Pacesetters being victorious over the Dynas Ravens 78-75.
Hinds could not be reached for a comment to ascertain the course of action the GABF will take to resolve issue.