… Tournament launch set for December 10
AFTER a two-year hiatus due to COVID-19, the ‘Rawle Toney’ 3X3 Classic will make a return February 19-20, 2022, at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall (CASH).
The exciting, urban and innovative, 3X3 was inspired by several forms of ‘streetball’ that is played worldwide and is considered the world’s number one urban team sport.
Organiser Rawle Toney made the announcement yesterday, adding that complete details surrounding the tournament will be made available at the launching of the event on Friday, December 10, also at the country’s premier indoor facility.
“I’m very excited to announce the return of the tournament, especially taking into consideration the development of 3X3 basketball since I would’ve hosted the inaugural event in November of 2019,” Toney shared in a release.
Sixteen teams will be vying for a winner’s purse of $600 000. Toney highlighted that the 100% blossom of the prize money is in keeping with the evolution of basketball’s shortest format.
“3X3 basketball is now an Olympic sport and made its debut at the 32nd Olympiad. We would’ve seen FIBA placing more emphasis on it as well, so it was only right that we do the same in Guyana, to not only entice players in and out of Guyana, but fans as well,,” Toney added.
He also stated, the tournament this year has received an endorsement from FIBA, and will be held under the guidelines set out by the sport’s global body commendation.
The tournament, he said, is now featured on FIBA’s 3X3 website (www.fiba3x3.com), and encouraged players to use the platform to register and create their player profile.
He added that the Guyana Amateur Basketball Federation (GABF), has also given their blessings and will be responsible for the technical aspect of the event.
“Some countries from the Caribbean are also showing interest in participating next year because, as it stands, participation at FIBA-endorsed tournaments would give the players and the country points, which are added to their FIBA Rankings. This helps in the country’s placing in the draw for major tournaments,” Toney revealed.
As it relates to sponsorship, Toney pointed out that all of the previous sponsors have already signalled their intention to return, adding, “of course, with a larger undertaking this year, I’ve already reached out to other companies to come on board; many of whom are favourable of doing so.”
Toney said the country’s National COVID-19 Task Force will set the guidelines for the event, as the organiser promises a safe environment.
“The entire tournament is being put together with COVID-19 in mind. While the country’s figures in terms of vaccination seem promising, we have to take into consideration that the world is still battling the coronavirus and so we will be responsible to ensure that everyone follows all the protocols that will be set out by the Task Force,” Toney said.
He noted that while 3X3 is played primarily outdoors, having the tournament at Cliff Anderson Sports Hall, “is to ensure that COVID-19 regulations are followed and to protect players, in particular. When you get all the tournament details on December 10 at the launching, you’ll understand the importance of hosting it within a safe and controlled space.”
Pitbulls 3.0, behind Ryan Stephney, Jermaine Slatter, Ryan Gullen and Travis Belgrave, edged Team Smooth 22-12 in the final, to walk away with $300 000 and the Rawle Toney 3X3 Basketball Classic Trophy in 2019 at the Burnham Court.