Basketball referees attacked by players
January 30th, 2002
Stabroek News, January 8, 2002
Basketball referees Vijai Panday and Oswald Benjamin were victims of uncouth behaviour by players from Esso Pistons club which lost to Bounty Colts in the final of the Invitational tournament on Saturday night at the Cliff Anderson Sports.
The match was awarded to Bounty Colts who led 72-71 with 23 seconds remaining after the referees were attacked by flying limbs and missiles, following a call made by Panday against Nolan Clarke of Esso Pistons.
Panday said he was back heeled in the groin by Clarke who was immediately blown for a flagrant foul, following which the official was punched in the jaw by another Pistons player when indicating the foul to the table officials.
He subsequently ejected both players which meant an automatic dismissal for the Linden team's coach. After six free throws were given to Bounty Colts, Benjamin was hit in face by a flying bottle thrown from the crowd just off Piston's bench, which caused the referee a cut and three stitches. The game was subsequently awarded to the Georgetown club. Panday said he has sent written reports to the Guyana Amateur Basketball Federation, and the ruling bodies of Georgetown and Linden.
Panday explained that the Linden players were annoyed with the officiating but stressed that many are not aware of certain rules of the game. He added that ignorance of rules is a problem in local basketball and urged that coaches take more time to educate their players. Yesterday officials from the national body could not be reached for comment.Up to that point Kelvin Simon had topscored with 19 points for Colts while Clarence Bennett and Andrew Ifill supported with 16 and 15 points each.
Pistons which led 40-30 at half time, were spearheaded by Alwin Bellamy with 17 points while Seon Charles contributed 15.
Colt's Dayne Kendall was adjudged man of the Series while Bennett was subsequently named Man of the Final.
Colts took home $30,000 a trophy and 12 gold rings for winning the three-week competition.They had defeated Pepsi Sonics in the semifinals while Pistons eliminated Sparta Global Kings. Ravens which won the previous Pepsi Sonics tournament did not show up for their final preliminary game and were eliminated as a result.

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