By Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway
The biggest game of the 2017 BVI Basketball Federation season between unbeaten Legs and the Virgin Gorda Mystics that attracted the season’s largest turnout to the Multipurpose Sports Complex on Saturday night, was called off at 10:45 p.m. when referees failed to show to call the game, much to the disappointment of players and fans.
Legs, at 4-0 and the Mystics at 3-0, were meeting for the first time and attracted fans from Virgin Gorda and throughout Tortola.
“I think it’s a shame. It’s been all over Facebook, Mystics vs Legs and we have no referees,” Legs manager Terry Smith said. “We actually flew in a player from Atlanta, (Khalid Gerard and Kitwana Rhymer sailed over from St. Thomas) and that’s gone down the drain. The federation has to do do better than this.”
Smith said they were looking forward to the game particularly because Steve Parillon and Killven are on the Mystics.
“We were looking forward to dealing with them and go on to the next team, which is West” Smith said. “Both of us are unbeaten so this would have been a nice game tonight.”
Parillon expressed his displeasure with the turn of events.
“The Federation need to shut down this league. If they can’t run the league, shut it down. It’s simple,” he said. “People came from Virgin Gorda. People came from all over Tortola because the game was advertised and you can’t find two referees to referee the game? This is highly embarrassing and seriously disappointing. I’m very upset. Honestly.”
Rhymer said he loves playing with Legs and wished they’d gotten to play. “Mystics is one of the better teams in the league and I was hoping to come and get the competitive edge I’m used to getting over the years that I’ve been up here
Ronald “Bishop” Smith was frustrated with the outcome. “The BVI is very special,” he said. “Only in the BVI this can happen.”
Kyra Powell said she was looking for a really good game between unbeaten teams.
“All I found was disappointment,” she said. “No referees to a big game like this?”
In a statement issued by the BVI Basketball Federation on Sunday, they sincerely apologized for the cancellation of game three on Saturday night.
“Two of three referees scheduled to officiate were unable to attend due to circumstances beyond our control,” the statement said. “As a consolation to our loyal supporters, we have rescheduled this game to Saturday, July 15 and we’re offering free admission for all games on this date. We thank you for your understanding and we look forward to your continued support.”
It was the second embarrassment of the season for the BVI Basketball Federation. On opening night, the game between the Mystics and Latinos was called off with 9:32 left in the second quarter, after the Latinos’ Ruben Reyes was ejected from the game, then triggered a mass brawl after after a fan said something to him. The Federation has banned Reyes from all basketball related activities in the BVI.
In games that were played, East Rockers Mikey Joseph had 34 points to lead East Rockers past the Starz, 101-60. They also used a 25 points 10 rebounds double double by Leslie Smith, to turn back the Maga Guns, 84-80. Maga Guns turned to Douron Phillips for 28 points and 16 boards in whipping Go Hard, 104-91. The Latinos had 17 points from Ryan Alfred and 16 and 12 rebounds from Juan Richards to get their first win of the season, and 85-77 triumph over the Starz.