GREAT EXCITEMENT AS ANGUILLA HOSTS LEEWARD ISLANDS BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP
The reorganised and attractively-decorated Rodney Rey Auditorium went up in prolonged applause as the opening ceremony of the Leeward Islands Basketball Championship got underway in Anguilla on Tuesday evening this week.
The indoor event, which continues until weekend, has the participation of teams from Barbuda, the British Virgin Islands, Montserrat, St. Kitts-Nevis and host island Anguilla. Some eighty players from the region are in Anguilla for the event which is being hosted here for the first time in about thirty years.
Anguilla’s team comprises Knoltan Bramble, Incia Brooks Jr, Javillle Bro0ks, Rick Browne, Rick Gumbs, Michael Davis, Andre Duncan, Yariel Fleming, Aaron Gumbs, Neil Gumbs, Colin Harrigan, Jason Hodge, Junior Rogers and Elisban Valera. The Coach is Ian ‘Tucker’ Connor who is assisted by Delano Mussington.
The championship competition was declared open by the Permanent Secretary responsible for Sports, Mrs. Chanelle Petty Barrett. Speaking on behalf of the Minister, Mr. Evans McNiel Rogers, who was engaged in the debate of the 2017 National Budget, she said in part:
“It is our pleasure to host this year’s Leeward Islands Basketball Tournament and, as we heard, it is the first time in the last thirty years; and we plan on making this a tremendous milestone. Our national team has pledged to emerge as winners so we know it is going to be a showdown. I must commend the Organising Committee, the Department of Sports and all others who may have been involved in the transformation of this auditorium.”
She said the Ministry was looking forward to future collaborations and to make use of Anguilla’s limited resources for sports development. She stressed that there was a need for players to be cognisant that sports play an important role in community life and development as well as contribute to national pride and cultural identity.
Other speakers were Lisa Rey, who chaired the opening ceremony, Mirabelle West and Pamela Riley. They all commended the Organising Committee, the various sponsors, and offered their best wishes to the players.
The schedule of matches was arranged as follows:
Tuesday evening: BVI vs. Barbuda; and Anguilla vs. Nevis.
In the first game the final scores were; BVI – 66 and Barbuda – 56. In the second game Anguilla scored 78 and Nevis 52
Wednesday evening: Barbuda vs. St. Kitts; and Anguilla vs. Montserrat.
Thursday: Montserrat vs. Nevis and BVI vs. St. Kitts.
The semi-finals and finals: Friday and Saturday respectively.
The Anguilla Amateur Basketball Association and the Leeward Islands Basketball Association have expressed thanks to the various sponsors of the championship tournament.