Sports

Bahamian players in action in Turkey, Japan

Bahamian professional basketball players in Turkey and Japan experienced playing time on the court in their respective leagues over the weekend.

Zane Knowles got his season underway in Turkey on Saturday. Dwight Coleby was also set to open his season on Saturday night in Turkey but his season opener for Belediyesi Denizli Basket against Mamak Municipality was postponed after some of Mamak’s players tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

Coleby’s brother, Kadeem Coleby, and Mark St. Fort were on the court in Japan playing back-to-back games on Saturday and Sunday.

Knowles played a little over 36 

minutes, helping his team hold onto a slim 90-89 overtime victory over Kocaeli BSB Kagitor in their opener. This was Knowles’ debut in the Turkey Basketball League as his team took a 1-0 win-loss record.

The forward was able to finish the game with a double-double, notching 16 points and 12 rebounds. He shot 5-for-8 from the field for 62.5 percent shooting. Knowles stayed away from three-point territory but went 6-for-10 from the charity stripe. On the boards, he was able to pull down eight defensive rebounds and four offensive ones.

He also contributed defensively with a game-high two blocks and a steal.

It was a tight start to the game as Kagitspor led 17-15 after the first quarter. Knowles and his team put their stamp on the game in the third quarter when they went up 61-51. They outscored their opponents 22-16 in that quarter.

Kagitspor controlled the fourth quarter, clawing their way out of a 10-point deficit. They battled back to tie the score at 81, forcing overtime. It was a tough battle but Balikesir scored nine points in the fourth quarter to come away with the 90-89 victory.

The glass was owned by Balikesir with a 51-28 margin.

Knowles will return to action on Friday night when his team plays their first away game against Ankara Anadolu Basket.

Coleby is playing in the same league as Knowles. He and his team will play their season debut in an away matchup against Budd Gemlik.

In Japan, Kadeem Coleby and the Akita Happinets are no longer undefeated as they lost both B1 League games against Ryukyu Golden Kings over the weekend. In the game on Sunday, the Golden Kings won 82-76. They won the opener 74-53.

Coleby was brilliant on Sunday, finishing with 15 points and seven rebounds in 25 minutes of play. He also finished with four assists and shot 7-for-10 from the field.

On Saturday, the former Wichita State University player scored 11 points and grabbed six rebounds. He also dished out three assists in 27 minutes of play. The big man shot 4-for-7 from the field in that game.

Coleby returns to action tonight when they play Levanga Hokkaido Sapporo.

St. Fort and the Niigata Albirex took on Shiga Lakestars and split their games. On Saturday, St. Fort and Albirex won 79-73. On Sunday, the Lakertars won 99-93. Albirex’s record now stands at 2-4.

St. Fort played five minutes in the victory on Saturday. He was able to score three points – all coming off free throws. St. Fort only attempted one field goal and grabbed two rebounds.

On Sunday, St. Fort played less minutes than he did on Saturday after logging just over a minute of play.

Albirex will resume play against a tough Toyama Grouses team tonight.

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Simba French

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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