A DETERMINED and persistent Victory Valley Royals exhibited the kind of steely nerves and guts to stave off the challenge of Kwakwani A, to grab their second short-version title when they marched away with the innovative 4×4 Under-18 championship last Saturday night at the Mackenzie Sports Club hard court.The Royals, who earlier this year were crowned National 3×3 Boys champions by winning the tournament held by the Guyana Amateur Basketball Federation (GABF) to select a Guyana representative side to the Guadeloupe championship in early 2020, exhibited the will and nerves against a Kwakwani team who never gave up hope of capturing this special championship, where a female player had to be on court throughout the encounters.Royals had their national championship combination of Kobe Tappin and Emmanuel Larose, Omar Green and Delroy Belle as well as female players Cliffanna Hunter and Resheba Carroll in their lineup and came out winners.The Kwakwani A had in their list of players Huon Bethune, Hansel John, Elijah David, Hosea Conway, who was the YBG Under-16 Titan Bowl Most Valuable Player, and female players Shakeila Sampson and Kennesha Leacock to win a nail-biting contest 18-14.It was not a walk in the park as the Royals with 2:05 minutes left were ahead 14-12 with 4 mins 40 secs to go but with Larose especially in the middle and Green playing strong inside as Tappin and Belle went for penetration and shots and with 1 min 20 secs it was Royals ahead 18-13 as they held sway to the end for a winning 18-14 score.It was Larose who had the lead score for the Royals with eight points as Tappin finished with six. Kwakwani’s best shoot were Elijah David and Huon Bethune each with four points.Former coach and president of the Kings Basketball Club, Gary Stephens, said the tournament was made possible through the Kings Basketball Club and the Linden Amateur Basketball Association and once this collaboration continues similar tournaments will be planned.He was particular on discipline and said if needs be the Kings organisation would lower the age limit to accommodate players who are disciplined. He was making reference to one player who seemed unwilling to heed a teammate’s advice and some who questioned the calls of the referees.According to Stephens, who once was the coach of the Kings Club before he migrated to the United States noted calls were made on both sides of the court which meant that the referees were not favouring any particular club.The next tournament, Stephens said, would involve two male and two female players to encourage the ladies. This one was for Under-18 boys and any age category for females with the provision that at least one female must be on the court at all times.The presentation of the prizes and medals won by the first-, second-, and third-placed teams was made after the final was decided.To reach the final, Kwakwani A avenged an earlier loss to the Kwakwani B team winning 12-5 behind scores of eight by Travis Lewis while the Royals erased that lone loss to Kings with a 17-14 victory. Larose had eight points and Tappin five with Ming Wong getting three for the Kings.In the third-place game, Kwakwani B came out victorious by a 17-14 score as Tyrese Conway had eight points.