December 18, 2009
Farcical end to Women’s Basketball Tournament

The Sancho Lyttle Women’s Basketball Tournament has ended, but at least one team is dissatisfied with the treatment meted out to them, just prior to last Sunday’s final.

In farcical fashion, the two semi finals planned for last Saturday were won/lost by the default route.{{more}}

Maple advanced to the final winning by default over Bequia Liberty, while Hardcore Bustas also won by default from Layou Pulse.

Reports are that Layou was unable to field a team because some of their players had prior engagements.

But Bequia Liberty, one of the teams that missed out, is crying foul, saying that no accommodation was made for them in their circumstances.

Annette King, a key member of the Bequia Liberty set up, told SEARCHLIGHT on Monday that she called President of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Basketball Federation Wayne Williams, two days before the intended semi final, informing him of the difficulty they were likely to encounter in fielding a team on Saturday.

“It is the high (tourist) season here in Bequia, and many of the players are involved in the industry,” King related.

“We could not field a team, as only four players were available,” King said.

King said that efforts were made to have the players make alternative arrangements with their co-workers to fill in for them, but according to her, “some had already had their day offs, so it was difficult to make shifts.”

She said that she was subsequently told that once they couldn’t make it, they would forfeit the game. This, King said, was related to her by Kenlyn Clouden, the Games Secretary of the women’s tournament.

King, though accepting that it was a “no win situation”, is peeved that no consideration was given to their legitimate plight.

This was against a backdrop of two instances which she recounted.

“Once we were on the wharf here in Bequia, ready to go to St. Vincent to play a match, and we got a phone call saying that the match was postponed,” King recalled.

“Another time we had to wait for an hour and a half at the court until Bustas could field a team to play us,” King complained.

However, last Sunday night at the New Montrose Basketball Facility, Hardcore Bustas earned a hard fought 75-74 win over Maple in the Final.

Maple, who had to wait for more than an hour, as Bustas was late in coming, and with one on-court official in place, cruised to 18-14 lead after the first ten minutes. Bustas clawed back to lead 37-33 at the end of the second quarter, as Maple was guilty of too many turnovers and missed shots. It was 56-48 at the third quarter mark in favour of Bustas, to finally win by the slimmest of margins.

Bustas’ Gailene Gordon was again the top scorer on the night, as she registered 33 points. She finished with 222 points, making her the overall leader in the individual points table. She was also adjudged the Most Valuable Player of the Final and copped that award for the regular season.

The versatile Shannique de Shong added 30. For Maple, Vasha Adams recorded 32 points, leaving her second in the points table, with 186. Another all round sportswoman, Elizabeth Caruth-Mathews added 20 points for he club.

The impressive trophy table saw one player from each of the seven participating teams getting her team’s Most Valuable Player award. Celebrities was voted the Most Disciplined Team.

Advent Ballers received the trophy for the Most Improved Team. Clouden got a special surprise award for her input to the sport over the years.

Bustas, who won the regular season title, was also the Best Offensive and Defensive Team.

The 2010 Tournament is set to begin in September.(RT)