A total team effort from Guyana on both ends of the floor helped them defeat Barbados 70-64 and even their three-game series on Saturday evening at the Sir Garfield Sobers Gymnasium.
Buoyed by the support of a huge Guyanese crowd in the stands, team Guyana, without any individual brilliance, rotated the ball to outplay the ‘Bajans’ throughout the four quarters in the tournament, which is being used by both countries to prepare for the Caribbean Basketball Confederation (CBC) Championships, to be held in Paramaribo, Suriname from June 24 to June 30.
Anthony Moe, who led the team’s scoring in game one with 19 points, had an off night from the field on Saturday, making just four of his 20 attempts, and missing all of his nine three-pointers.
However, Moe wowed the crowd with perfect timing at the rim defensively, as he finished the night with six blocked shots, one of which had the entire crowd at the gymnasium on their feet when he ‘stuffed’ Keefe Birkett just as he was soaring to the rim for a thunderous dunk.
Moe then turned to the crowd and mimicked Dikembe Mutombo’s trademark ‘no, no, no’ finger-wagging gesture after the play. The US-base ‘baller’ ended the night with 13 points and 13 rebounds to go along with his six blocks.
Harold Adams scored a team-high 15 points and five rebounds, while point guard and team captain Stanton Rose scored most of his 11 points in the second half, and had nine rebounds, four steals and four assists on the night.
Orlan Glasgow’s nine points, eight rebounds and one block, and Shaine Webster’s seven points, seven boards were the other top performers for Guyana.
Jeremy Gill had 13 points for Barbados, while Birkett had 15 points. No other ‘Bajan’ player reached double digits.
Head Coach Junior Hercules started with Moe, Webster, Adams, Glasgow and Rose; a combination that proved too much for Barbados, as the Guyanese starting five attacked the basket on almost every play.
The system implied by Hercules saw Guyana taking a 17-14 points’ lead at the end of the first period, but in the second half, Guyana struggled with the shot, while Barbados tightened up on defence to race to a three- point lead at half time (34-31).
The two teams would trade baskets much throughout the third period, but it was Barbados who would have the upper hand at the end of the stanza, since Guyana went away from their game and struggled to make the shots from ‘deep’, ending the night scoring four of their 31 attempts from the three-point land, as only Adams (2/4) and Rose (1/9) found the net.
The crowd cheered on every play by the two teams as they entertained with their ‘hustle’ on the floor; especially Guyana, who needed to level the series.
Guyana outscored Barbados 20-10 in the fourth quarter to close out the game, and received a standing ovation from their supporters.
Game three of the series was contested last evening, and scores were unavailable at press time. Guyana returns home today, and will continue training at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall on Wednesday.