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More than 25 shortlisted for FIBA pre-qualifyiers

Stanton Rose who lead the Guyana team on their last game

By Shaquawn Gill

With the FIBA Central American and Caribbean Pre-Qualifiers set to commence in a few months, the Guyana Amateur Basketball Federation (GABF) has officially commenced preparation for participation in the high-level tournament.

Head Coach Andrew Hercules who spoke on the selection of players who represent Guyana in April confirmed that 27 players were shortlisted [for training].

This means that out of the 27 players who were selected, 12 players will be finally selected to represent the country at the tournament which will be held in San Salvador.

Two weeks into practice, Hercules noted that even though the group of young, talented players made some improvement, there is still much more to be done.

“Thus far the training is progressing fairly okay, [but] we still have a lot of work to do,” he said.

Hercules, who led Guyana to its first and only senior Caribbean Championship in 2018, explained that one of the major restraints is the number of days they are allowed to train per week.

Hercules said that if more days were available for them to train, then they would be able to cover more ground in the short span of time they have to prepare for the upcoming tournament.

Additionally, the senior head coach believes that to have the entire squad together, as some of the shortlisted players are currently overseas.

“[We] would like to have the full contingent in terms of all the shortlisted players being able to train…ideally, we would like to have our entire team training together…so that we can accelerate the training so that we don’t necessarily need to go at a slow pace.

But in the interest of the time and the access of certain players, we are forced to focus on certain things at this juncture,” he highlighted.

Hercules also expressed his gratitude towards the Executive Body of the Guyana Amateur Basketball Federation (GABF) who he says has been quite helpful in the entire process.

“GABF [and] by extension the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports has been supportive [and] they have given us their vote of confidence in terms of our ability to honor the parameters under which we requested and have asked of the ministry thus far,” Hercules noted.

The final 12 is expected to be selected in mid-March.

This publication also caught up with the Captain of the last senior team that was selected to represent Guyana, Stanton Rose, and asked him about his thoughts going into the upcoming pre-qualifying tournament.

“I am very excited to lead another team,” Rose said, “My mindset is to go in, play team basketball and come out victorious”.

Rose reminded that tournaments like these offer a lot of great exposure for young players who are willing to take their game to the next level, as many scouts are usually present at these competitions.

“It’s always good to have this kind of exposure. I feel as though we have a lot of players that can get to play basketball [at a higher level] outside of Guyana,” Rose highlighted.

Rose led Guyana’s national team to a Caribbean championship in Suriname in 2018, where he was crowned the Most Valuable Player at the end of the tournament.