French Guiana stun Guyana 81 – 85 at IGG Basketball, claim first win over the Guyanese in a decade.
IN a game marred by poor officiating, Guyana went down 81 – 85 to French Guiana last evening in the first male basketball game of the 2011 Inter- Guiana Games.
Watched by a vocal crowd at the Anthony Nesty Stadium in Paramaribo, Guyana who started well surrendered to the French for the first time in almost a decade at the tri-nation championships.
Point Guard Roderick Jean-Christophe registered a game high 23 points, supported by Karim Marcelin who had 21 points for the victors. Richard Mohandatt led the way for the Guyanese with 17 points, Dominic Douglas 16 and Geoffrey La Rose with eight were the other prime scorers for the side that is chasing their IGG basketball title which they last won in 2007.
Under coach, Lugard Mohan, Guyana started with La Rose, Douglas, Martin Weatherspoon, Dominic Vincente and Nikkoli Fraser as they went off with an amazing run as the team displayed good chemistry and unselfishness. Weatherspoon, playing Centre, scored the first basket of the game off a set play called by Vincente from the top. Mohan rotated his bench well and made some early substitution, bringing in Marlon Pollydore for Vincente, Mohandatt for Fraser (Nikkoli) and forward Dwight McKinnon for La Rose. Mohandatt by far being the most experienced player on the team having been a part of Guyana’s IGG basketball team since 2008, came in and sparked his country’s scoring with some ‘awe’ moves at both ends of the floor. Nonetheless, the French were always in the game and only trailed by eight points (29 – 21) at the end of the first period. French Guiana begun to put Guyana in the pressure from the second quarter when they
forced the Guyanese into ‘turnover frenzy’ in which they easily capitalised on.
However, Mohandatt led the way once again displaying his quickness and ability to play well on the defensive end just as good as he could on the offensive side of the court. The French team clawed their way into the game; tying it at 39 before Fraser (Nikkoli) penetrated to score a lay-up to end the game at half time 41 – 40 with Guyana in the lead. Too much turnovers again flawed the Guyanese in the third quarter forcing Coach Lugard to call a timeout at 4:22 left in the quarter and French Guiana up by five points (50 – 55). He made a few changes and the squad of La Rose, Douglas, Weatherspoon, Vincente and Fraser (Nikkoli) were tasked with bringing the game back into Guyana’s favour in which they did as they led 66 – 63 going into the final period.
Again, thanks to the barrage of turnovers by the Guyanese, French Guiana made no mistakes in making their opponents pay for their ill thinking and mishandling of the ball. The USA based Mohandatt did his best to keep Guyana in the game hitting a three to bring the game 77 – 80. Nikkoli Fraser was fouled and hit both of his shots then Douglas who had an exceptional game fouled with 27.5 seconds left in the game. He (Douglas) went to the charity line both shot to put the scores 81 – 83. Another turn over by the Guyanese cost them the game while French Guiana’s hero Karim Marcelin was fouled and hit one of two free throws to seal an unforgettable win for his side. The Guyanese will face host and defending champions Suriname today at the same venue.