… Pacesetters make winning startVICTORY Valley Royals won their second match to remain unbeaten in this year’s ‘Road to Mecca’ basketball Championships, while Ravens rebounded from their opening night upset and Pacesetters made a winning start in their journey to ‘Mecca’, when the tournament continued on Sunday night at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall.Playing in the opening game of the night’s triple-header at the Guyana Amateur Basketball Federation (GABAF) marquee tournament, Pacesetters 28 points (85-57) blowout-win over last year’s finalists Retrieve Raiders, while the Royals, behind Harold Adams, eased to a comfortable 77-55 win over newcomers Kobras.On night one of the competition, Rose Hall Jammers, considered by many as ‘minnows’ of the National Club Championship, walked away with a shocking 64-60 win over Ravens. However, Darcel Harris, the team’s point-guard and centrepiece, regrouped his troops and returned on Sunday to romp to an 82-78 ‘statement-win’ over Amelia’s Ward Jets.Harris scored 15 points in the win over the Jets and picked up five steals, while Ryan Stephney led all scorers with 30 points. Tyrone Hamid and Sebastian Luke both finished the night with ten points apiece.For the Jets, Donnel Benjamin was the team’s best scorer with 20 points and Sean Muss had 14 points in the loss.In the Pacesetters versus Raiders clash, forward Sherlon Legall had 24 points in leading the city team to victory over the Linden club who are coming off a horrible season in the LABA. Joslyn Crawford had 12 while Nathan Saul, a usual marksman, had a bad shooting night, only scoring 10 points from his 19 attempts to the basket.Karem Roberts with 14 and Neil Marks, 11, were the top shooters for the Raiders.Meanwhile, coming into the tournament Royals had ‘man-handled’ their counterparts in Linden during their run the Linden Amateur Basketball Association (LABA) and that run continued into the ‘Road to Mecca’ tournament, as the Victory Valley-based team crushed Georgetown’s second-best team, Plaisance Guardians, by 23 points (82-59).The win over the Guardians was an eye-opener for the city clubs, and the Kobras, Georgetown basketball’s newcomers, would feel the wrath of Adams, who, this year, scored 111 points in a game during the LABA League – the most ever scored by a player locally in an organised game.Adams had a game-high 22 points in the Royals’ victory in a game that had the Lindeners leading 41-32 at the halfway mark.However, point guard Marlon Pollydore (7) and Yannick Tappin (16), joined Adams in helping the Royals to pull away from the Kobras, outscoring them 13-11 (54-43) at the end of the penultimate period, and 23-12 (77-55) in the final period.Travis Burnett entertained the crowd in his 18 points, while Jermaine Slater contributed nine for the Kobras who would next play Plaisance Guardians on Friday.
Never before in the history of Burundi has the country’s peace depended solely on one man—Pierre Nkurunziza.The whole world, but most especially the Burundian people themselves, know the recent history of this East African nation—a history that turned the nation topsy-turvy (upside down). Bloodshed and instability ensued. Yes, it started just eight months ago, last April, when PresidentNkurunziza made his ominous announcement that, despite the constitutional restriction and clear and unmistakable opposition of his people, he would seek a third term of office.To demonstrate their opposition and distaste for this unconstitutional move by their President, the people took to the streets demonstrating against his decision. But instead of bowing to the will of the people, instead of sensing the resolute undercurrent of discontent in the country, the President responded with brutality and bloodshed, killing, maiming and imprisoning anyone his ruthless security forces could put their hands on. The situation became so desperate that neighboring Rwandan President Paul Kagame was forced to ask, “What kind of politics is this”—killing people every day just to stay in power against the will of the people.President Kagame had reason to be disturbed by the horrendous developments in Burundi. Already thousands of Burundians, fleeing the widening violence, had voted, with their feet next door into Rwanda seeking refuge. President Kagame feared the outbreak of civil war in Burundi, which would seriously threaten the peace in the sub-region and in Rwanda itself—a country which, under his astute and progressive leadership, has over the past decade made serious and remarkable economic, political and economic progress.So successful has Rwanda become that it shines as a highly positive example of good governance and progress. For this reason, the people last week voted in a referendum to change the constitution to allow their enlightened, forward-looking and successful to seek a third term of office.Our only prayer is that President Paul Kagame, realizing that his prospective reelection would mark his last term of office, will not change course by relaxing his progressive, development-oriented program and start taking the people and everything else for granted.We think the warning is appropriate and timely because we have seen it in all too many places, where leaders in their last term just sit and do little or nothing, leaving the country stagnant and retrogressive and the people in a state of despondency, despair and decay. Some leaders in their last term also turn repressive, and start ruling the country with an iron fist, causing more suffering and economic and financial suffocation. President Kagame must avoid this at all cost and let the light of one East African nation radiate throughout the continent, inspiring others.But how can President Nkurunziza bring peace to Burundi? He can do so by developing the courage, goodwill and compassion for his suffering and troubled people by resigning the presidency. This alone will immediately restore the peace in Burundi and cause the people to rejoice and even thank him for diffusing the rising political chaos threatening the country. The people would be happy and so would he, and the country would be restored to peace and normalcy, ready even at additional expense, to stage a new free, fair and transparent election that would cause the world, too, to rejoice and be glad in the New Year, 2016.Perhaps this is something President Kagame can make happen by visiting his fellow President and giving him a simple advice—“Step aside and restore the peace in your country. Your people will thank you for it.” Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)