Michael Carey dropped in a team-high 21 points to lead The Bahamas’ senior men’s national basketball team to a key 86-72 victory over Belize in 2021 FIBA AmeriCup Pre-Qualifiers Group A action last night in Belize City, Belize. The Bahamas finished second to Cuba in Group A, and will advance to the qualifiers along with Cuba.
The two nations join Colombia, Paraguay, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Panama, Puerto Rico, Uruguay, the United States, Venezuela and the US Virgin Islands for the 2021 FIBA (International Basketball Federation) AmeriCup Qualifiers.
Kentwan Smith finished with 18 points and 15 rebounds and Shaquille Cleare added 16 points and 13 rebounds for The Bahamas in the impressive win over Belize on Sunday night. As a team, The Bahamas grabbed 64 rebounds compared to Belize’s 37.
The team was comprised of Dominic Bridgewater (Fos Provence, France), Carey (Mexico), Michael Bain Jr. (Commonwealth Bank Giants), Eugene Bain (PJs Stingers), Jean Rony Cadot (Spain), Smith (Denmark), David Nesbitt (Brazil), Winslo Barry (Spain), Shavanno Cooper (Philippines), Cleare (Mexico), Lourawls “Tum Tum” Nairn (Phoenix Suns) and Torrington Cox (PJs Stingers). The Head Coach was Norris Bain, and assisting him on the sidelines were Mario Bowleg and Steve Barnes.
Nairn tied the game at 42 with four seconds remaining in the first half, to climax a competitive first half.
Team Bahamas led 33-19 in the rebounding category at the half but was careless with the ball, committing nine turnovers. The home team had just four.
With 7:06 remaining in the third quarter, Belize lost a key player in Devin Daly as he suffered a left ankle injury.
Team Bahamas opened the 2021 FIBA AmeriCup Pre-Qualifiers with a 88-74 loss to powerhouse Cuba on Friday night and returned to the court Saturday night and dismantled Antigua & Barbuda, 110-56.
It was a tough opening to their campaign as they lost to Cuba after being down by three points at the half, 42-39.
Carey led the way for The Bahamas, scoring 14 points and shooting 50 percent from the field. He connected on two three-pointers and grabbed five rebounds and three assists.
Former Michigan State University point guard Nairn chipped in with 13 points, four assists and three rebounds. He shot 54 percent from the field.
Nesbitt also finished with 13 points and grabbed eight rebounds before he fouled out. Cadot led Team Bahamas with six assists off the bench.
As a team, The Bahamas shot 44 percent from the field. They grabbed 42 rebounds compared to Cuba’s 38. For The Bahamas, 12 of those rebounds were offensive rebounds.
The Bahamas held the lead for five minutes of the game with the biggest lead being eight.
Cuba’s Jasiel Rivero was the high scorer for the game with 22 points, and they outscored them 46-35 in the second half to win 88-74.
After scoring 14 points against Cuba on Friday night, Carey exploded for 29 points, six rebounds, three assists and one steal in the game against Antigua & Barbuda.
The Bahamas opened the first quarter strong and raced out to a 37-14 lead to set the tone of the game. They maintained full control throughout.
Scoring in double figures were Smith, Cadot and Eugene Bain. Smith had 14 points to go with eight rebounds and Cadot and Eugene Bain finished with 12 and 10 points respectively.
Nairn had a good game as well, dishing out 10 assists and he scored nine points.
As a team, The Bahamas finished with 12 three-pointers and connected on 20 free throws in the blowout.
By the end of the first half, they were up by 30, 56-26. Antigua & Barbuda had their only lead of the game at 4-2, early in the game.
The Bahamas outrebounded Antigua & Barbuda, 53-40.
Kareem Edwards finished with 23 points for Antigua & Barbuda.
Education: College of the Bahamas, BA Media Journalism