THE stage is set for the commencement of the 5th edition of the KFC Commercial Basketball League (CBL) scheduled to jumpstart on Wednesday at the Beausejour Indoor Practice Facility.
The CBL is considered the most exciting tournament on the Chamber of Commerce’s sporting calendar and is being hosted in collaboration with the Saint Lucia Basketball Federation (SLBF).
Last year, hundreds of Saint Lucians got to witness some of the best local basketball talents as teams looked to earn bragging rights for their respective companies.
During a press launch last Wednesday, the official group draw took place and SLBF president, Leslie Collymore, gave further details on the tournament.
Eleven teams in two groups, including last year’s champions Goddard Group of Companies, will head Group A, which also includes Lewis Industries, Sandals, Financial Services, WASCO and Digicel.
Last year’s losing finalists, Saint Lucia Fire Service, will lead Group B which comprises the media, Teachers Union, Saint Lucia Civil Service Association and Royal Saint Lucia Police Force.
According to Collymore, the federation will pay Saint Lucia Sports Inc. close to $10,000 for the use of the facility for the entire tournament and will be hoping some work will be done to provide adequate lighting there.
In terms of the level of play and the rivalry, Collymore said, “I anticipate this year’s tournament to be more than electrifying. Despite the excitement on centre court, some of the players involved at the national level will give a boost to their respective teams. But all eyes will be on the many supporters who will be coming to chant for their respective teams. The interaction, comradery and following of all the matches are expected to be at an all-time high.”
Meanwhile, SLBF has indicated that in the playoff round of the tournament, the cost of tickets will be $10. The money collected will go towards two players who are ill, namely Ricardo Estwick and Ricardo Sayers.
Estwick, a former national player, has been a stalwart for the game. He is currently battling with a particular ailment and the SLBF believes that it is important for the federation to assist those who have paved the way for the present crop of players.