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The Bahamas set to compete in water polo at CCCAN  

The Bahamas’ team for the 28th Central American and Caribbean Amateur Swimming Confederation (CCCAN) Water Polo Championships is currently at their destination preparing for competition.

The competition gets underway today at the Barbados National Aquatics Center, in Wildey, Christ Church, Barbados, and ends on Monday, July 8. The meet is a qualifier for 2020 Swimming Union of the Americas (UANA) Junior Water Polo Championships.

Representing The Bahamas are: Loron Bain, Damian Gomez, Jahkai Grey, Gabriel Sastre, Alex Turnquest, Nicholas Wallace-Whitfield, Aidan Johnson, Jelani Grant, Gaby Encinar, Oliver Roberts, Dominic Beneby, Jayden Seymour, Dominic Demeritte and Adrian Burrows.

The head coach is Laszlo “Coach Lotty” Borbely and he is assisted by Saequan Miller. Miller is also the chaperone. The team was ratified by the Bahamas Aquatics Federation (BAF).

Daniel Stojanovski, from Macedonia in eastern Europe, also worked with the team but did not travel with them.

Last month, six of the players – Sastre, Gomez, Johnson, Turnquest, Wallace-Whitfield and Roberts – went to Houston, Texas, to play in some games. While in Houston, the Bahamian players saw action with the Houston Storm water polo team, and the team qualified for the USA Water Polo Junior Olympics, slated for July 20-23, 2019.

Borbely said: “Those players got much needed experience under their belts. They really played well. We worked very hard to build the entire team. We have an assistant coach from eastern Europe, and he knows what he is doing. We had very good preparation and we are changing our attitude to a new style of water polo. We are treading, using more power and are more explosive. We are practicing more plays.”

Last year, the 16-and-under national squad played against Puerto Rico in the gold medal game at CCCAN and lost, 8-7. At this year’s CARIFTA Championships, the 19-and-under team lost 14-13 to Barbados in the semifinals and ended up winning the bronze. Borbely said that he is happy that their new style of play is working. He is appealing to corporate Bahamas to lend them a hand as the team seeks to take part in a number of international events.

“The goalies are working hard. The players with international exposure have started to know what to do. The more successful we got, the more places we go to participate in international competitions,” said Borbely. “It is getting more expensive so once again I am appealing to corporate Bahamas. We are going to competitions where we play Brazil, Mexico, Canada, the United States and Argentina. Anybody who sees this exposure of The Bahamas and it fits their business, we are ready to work with them.”

After the CCCAN Championships, The Bahamas will send a team to the UANA Pan American 17-and-Under Water Polo Championships in Trinidad and Tobago. That event is set for August 14-24, 2019.

Simba French

Sports Reporter at The Nassau Guardian
Simba joined The Nassau Guardian in 2012 as a technical producer for Guardian Radio 96.9 FM. He joined the Editorial Department as a sports reporter in 2018. Simba has covered a wide range of sports stories, including the 2018 CARIFTA in Nassau, Bahamas.
Education: College of the Bahamas, BA Media Journalism

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