Hamid calls for better security at basketball matches
January 30th, 2002
By Donald Duff - Stabroek News, May 20, 2002
Linden's senior basketball coach Abdulla Hamid has highlighted the need for better security and for trained table officials as some of the requirements if local basketball is to go places. Hamid made the recommendations following his side's 88-90 loss in the final of the Best of the best basketball series which concluded on Friday night at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall. Hamid is a former national player who has also served as assistant coach of the national women's team to the CARICOM championships.
Hamid's Linden team, boasting a number of new finds had earlier played unbeaten in all their preliminary matches and were 2-0 up against Georegtown after Game One of the best of Three finals. They then lost Games Two and Three and with the losses went the right to their claim of being the top basketball team in the country.
Speaking of Friday night's game Hamid said game was "highly competitive. We outplayed them throughout. The guys stuck to the defence I designed in order to keep out Lugard (Mohan) and (Clarence) Bennett and (Andrew) Ifill off the boards and the team did that pretty well for 39 minutes," he added.
With a six point lead and only a minute remaining Hamid admitted that the man to man press instituted by opposing coach Bobby Cadogan hurried his players and resulted in three back court turnovers which probably cost Linden the game.
Asked about the officiating and whether he felt it was partly responsible for his team's loss Hamid said while the officiating was to a high level he was a bit surprised with the blocking foul called on star player Steve Neils with the scores tied at 88 and the seconds ticking away. Hamid said Mohan was double teamed and Neils took up a position cutting off Mohan from driving down the wing. "Neils was standing and Lugard drove into him," was his view. Hamid also criticised the performance of the table officials.
"Table officials need to be more accessible and polite when coaches go to collect information," he reasoned. "They need to be aware of their duties which is to provide the coaches with information," he added. Hamid also pointed out to the frequent encroachments onto the playing court and the many stoppages for beverages, ice and paper cups thrown on the court by the Georgetown supporters. The many stoppages, Hamid felt probably robbed his team of their momentum and he is suggesting that there is need for improved security at future matches. To support Hamid's call president of the Guyana Amateur basketball Federation Godwin Mc Person also saw first hand the behaviour of the crowd.
After unsuccessfully appealing for the supporters to desist from their unsavoury practices Mc Pherson remarked at the presentation ceremony afterwards... "To-night I'm very sad, I'm disturbed." McPherson said that while the players were doing something which was uplifting the crowd was doing the opposite.
And a beaming George-town coach Bobby Cadogan said his team managed to turn certain defeat into an amazing victory simply because they were more composed in the tight situations. "We were more composed down the stretch and in the tight situations. The experience of Lugard Mohan in certain situations where he ran the play was also a contributory factor", Cadogan added.
The wily Mohan with the scores tied 88 and a few seconds remaining on the clock dribbled the ball until he drew a foul from rival guard Neils. The resulting two free shots were the winning ones. "Going into the game Linden were ahead 2-1 in terms of wins", Cadogan observed pointing out that his team played better than in previous games and in the pressure situations showed poise.
He said the series was good preparation for the upcoming matches against the Washington DC Jammers.

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