In preparation for the 2019 CARIFTA Water Polo Championships which is set for the Aquatics Centre in Wildey, St. Michael, Barbados, from April 12-14, the Bahamas Swimming Federation (BSF) sanctioned three local teams in competition at the 17th Annual South Florida International Water Polo Tournament at the Coral Springs Aquatic Complex in Coral Springs, Florida, USA, this past weekend.
The Mantas under-14 (U14), under-16 (U16) and under-19 (U19) water polo teams all saw action in Coral Springs, and all three teams turned in respectable performances. The U14 team placed 10th, the U16 team was seventh, and the U19 team finished 12th.
The U14 and U16 teams won their final matches, while the U19 team lost in its final game.
On Friday, in its first match, the U14 team fell to the Loyola Water Polo Club out of San Juan, Puerto Rico, 11-7.
Kaitlyn Williams scored three goals for the Mantas U14 team, Tonny Simon scored twice and Joshua Gibson had the other two goals for the Bahamian squad.
In the Mantas U19 first game, they fell to the Hialeah Storm team out of Hialeah, Florida, 10-8.
Adonis Sasso scored four goals for the Bahamian side. Gabriel Sastre scored twice, and Loron Bain and Jahkai Gray added a goal apiece.
In the Mantas U16 team’s first game, they fell to the Whitecaps out of Miami, Florida, 11-8.
In the other results for the Bahamian squads on Friday, the U14 team lost to the Whitecaps 20-15; the U16 squad defeated Mako Polo out of New York, 15-6; and the U19 squad lost to the Capital Water Polo Team out of Arlington, Virginia, 11- 6.
In Saturday’s games, the U14 team lost to the South Florida Water Polo Club 8-7; Capital defeated the Mantas U16 team 5-4; the Mantas U19 team held off BMI 11-9; the U14 team defeated the Scots, 15-13; the U19 squad lost to Navy A 14-3; and the U19 squad lost again, this time to Loyola in overtime 9-8.
On Sunday, the U14 team defeated Capital 12-5; the U16 squad defeated Navy 11-7; and the Mantas U19 team lost to the Raiders 8-5.
Coach Laszlo ‘Lotty’ Borbely said he wasn’t concerned with the teams final placing. He said that this tournament was mainly in preparation for the 2019 CARIFTA Championships in April, so that he could determine what the young athletes need to work on for CARIFTA. He said the tournament also gave him a chance to see the players in game situations which would help with team selection for the CARIFTA Water Polo Championships.