GUYANA Defence Force (GDF) secured a nail-biting 65-64 win over the Nets, while Mambas had a blow-out 86-36 victory over University of Guyana (UG) Trojans to mark the start of the Andrew Ifill Memorial Knockout Tournament on Wednesday at Cliff Anderson Sports Hall.
In the opening game of the planned double-header at the country’s premier indoor facility, former national youth player, Jonathan Pooran, had a game-high 19 points and Brandon Bento had 16.
Olympian and National Long Jump record-holder, Emmanuel Archibald, returned to the basketball court and showed off his handles with a crafty 15 points in the Mambas win.
For UG Trojans, Orson Smith’s 13 sees saw him as the only player from his team in double figures with Dwight McKinnon and Damani Thomas registering seven and five points respectively.
Meanwhile, in what could be described as an upset, the newcomers to the Georgetown Amateur Basketball Association (GABA), GDF, defended well to edge the more experienced Nets unit.
Jason Khan led his team with 20 points, while Ronaldo Niles had 19.
Royan Wilson’s 20 and Dennis Niles’ 18 were not enough to keep Nets in the tournament and they will now be spectators.
The tournament continued last evening with another double-header: Colts versus Guardians, Pacesetters versus Eagles.
Tomorrow, the tournament’s number one seeds, Ravens will battle Mambas, while Kobras will take on GDF.
Following the conclusion of the first round of matches, the tournament will move into the semi-final stage on Friday, June 3, and the final on Sunday, June 5.
The tournament marks the return of competitive action for clubs in the GABA, and according to president Jermaine Slatter, it was only fitting that they bounce their season off in memory of Andrew Ifill, one the best to ever suit up for Guyana. He died in October of 2019.