‘Rawle Toney 3X3 Basketball Classic’ to be launched today
Some of the country’s top ‘ballers’ will converge on the Burnham Basketball Court for two days of what is expected to be exciting basketball when one of the country’s well-known sports journalists hosts the ‘Rawle Toney 3X3 Classic’ on November 9/10.
With $300,000 up for grabs for the winner of the round-robin/knockout tournament, Toney will launch the one-of-a-kind tournament today at the premises of one of the sponsors, FireSide and Grill located on Garnett Street, from 13:00hrs.
The team finishing second will pocket $100,000 while third place winner would get $50,000. The person deemed the ‘Most Valuable Player’ (MVP) in the finals will receive one pair of basketball sneakers of his choice.
ANSA McAL, under their Mackeson brand, are the tournament’s main sponsors, and will be joined by the Guyana Lottery Company’s Let’s Bet Sport, ‘STUFF’, Slingerz Family Entertainment, the National Sports Commission (NSC) and Trophy Stall.
“I think, when you look around, basketball is the only sport in Guyana that doesn’t offer anything exciting and engaging for the fans. There’s futsal and T20, both shortened versions of the conventional football and cricket; but while 3X3 exists in basketball, locally it is not being utilised,” Toney has said.
“3X3 is the ‘T20 cricket’ of basketball; meaning, it’s fast (only 10 minutes a game) and has simpler rules compared to the usual format of the game. The last major tournament held under the Mackeson brand was hosted in 2013,” said Toney, who was once a standout basketball player.
Toney explained that after Mackeson ceased sponsoring 3X3 basketball, the format never found another corporate entity or brand to replace ‘Smooth Moves’– mostly because of the high standard set, and because players had grown accustomed to a quality tournament.
“It is my hope that this tournament will revive the 3X3 format, especially since FIBA had moved to regularise the sport, which sees it being used by the sport’s governing body globally to bring new fans to the sport,” the journalist added.
This tournament has received the blessings of the Guyana Amateur Basketball Federation (GABF) and its officials, and will be played under FIBA 3X3 rules.
Registration, according to Toney, has already started, and limited space is available. More details will be available at today’s launch of the tournament.