Monday, Sep 24, 2018
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Coach Bain: Team Bahamas ready for the challenge

It’s crunch time for Team Bahamas in San Juan, Puerto Rico!

This evening, the Bahamas Basketball Federation’s (BBF) national men’s squad will clash with the US Virgin Islands in a must-win game for The Bahamas. If the USVI wins, that will mean automatic qualification for the second round of the International Basketball Federation’s (FIBA) World Cup Qualifiers, and The Bahamas will be eliminated.

In their first match-up in this round, the USVI defeated The Bahamas and another win over this country today, would clinch a spot from Group D into the next round of qualifiers along with the Dominican Republic and Canada. The Bahamas, I understand, has a smaller window of opportunity. First of all, we must beat the USVI and then hope to have a points factor in our favor, or win both games in this final window of the first round. They will play the Dominican Republic on Monday.

Well, on Wednesday, Team Bahamas Assistant Coach Norris Bain informed that training has gone quite well for the team. He was cautious though. Bain disclosed that the USVI that opposes The Bahamas today has been fortified with additional players.

“We have to be aware of that,” said Bain.

He lamented the absence of DeAndre Ayton, the recent No.1 National Basketball Association (NBA) draftee, and expressed satisfaction about the presence of Coach Chris DeMarco (of the Golden State Warriors). He emphasized too, that the team looks good heading into the USVI game.

“We had an awesome practice last night (Tuesday). We are long and athletic. We would have loved to have one more shooter along, such as DeAndre Ayton. Nevertheless this has to be one of the best teams we have put together in a long time. Coach Chris DeMarco brings a wealth of experience and is a great team player. He has a great basketball mind and even asks us questions about things that he loved that we did in practice,” said Bain.

He accepted however that the bottom line will be translating the great workouts into a winning performance on the court. A lot is riding on the game for the federation. Presently, federation marketing negotiators are trying to make a case to key sponsor Baha Mar that the $250,000 investment in furthering the men’s program, is being maximized. Also there are other major sponsors, waiting in the wings.

Therefore, quality performances are essential for federation teams in regional/international play. There is one final game scheduled for The Bahamas in round one. As mentioned, they take on the Dominican Republic next Monday.

Go Team Bahamas!

To respond to this column, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at sturrup1504@gmail.com or on WhatsApp at (242) 727-6363.

 

 

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