Bahamian quartet in action in Europe

A quartet of Bahamian professional basketball players were in action for their respective teams in Portugal and Turkey this past weekend.

Shaquille Cleare and Travis Munnings were in action for União Desportiva Oliveirense (10-5) on Saturday in the Liga Portuguesa de Basquetebol, the highest men’s basketball league in Portugal. They defeated Galotos Barreiro (4-11), 73-62, at the Pavilhão Municipal Prof Luís de Carvalho in Santo António da Charneca, Portugal.

Cleare finished the game with 10 points and five rebounds in 26 minutes of play. Munnings scored seven points and grabbed 10 rebounds in 28 minutes of play. Cleare finished the game 5-for-9 from the field, shooting 56 percent. The center grabbed three defensive rebounds and two offensive rebounds. For Munnings, he finished 2-for-6, missing all four of his shots from three-point territory. The forward pulled down seven defensive rebounds and two offensive boards.

Both Bahamians are starters for Oliveirense.

Cleare scored his first field goal when he gave his team a 7-6 edge with a step back jump shot with 7:28 remaining in the first quarter. The game was tied at nine before Munnings made his first shot of the game, a three-point shot to put his team up 12-9 with 5:47 remaining in the opening quarter. The first quarter ended with Barreiro up 21-16.

Oliveirense took a 28-27 lead with just over five minutes left in the second quarter, and then ended that quarter on a 10-3 scoring run to take a 38-30 cushion into the half.

An 18-15 third quarter advantage by the home team cut Oliveirense’s lead to 53-48. The closest Barreiro got the rest of the way was 57-54 with 6:44 remaining in the game. Each time they came back, Oliveirense responded. With 33 seconds left in the game, Munnings hit two key free-throws to put his team up 71-62, essentially ending any further comeback attempt by Barreiro.

Justin Alson led all scorers with 22 points in the win. Derreck Brooks Jr. led 

Barreiro with 17 points.

The two Bahamians return to action tomorrow when Oliveirense plays Maia Basket Clube (2-13) at Dr. Salvador Machado Pavilhao in Oliveira de Azeméis, Portugal. Tip-off is at 4 p.m. local time, five hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time (EST) here in The Bahamas.

It was a tough Saturday past for Bahamian frontcourt players Zane Knowles and Dwight Coleby as their respective teams were not able to come away with a victory in the Turkey Basketball League, the second highest tier of men’s basketball in Turkey.

Knowles and his team, Balikesir Büyükşehir Belediyespor (9-6), fell 88-79 on the road to Bornova Belediyespor (9-5) at the Altındağ Atatürk Spor Kompleksi in Izmir, Turkey. Knowles finished with a game-high 22 points in 27 minutes of play. The center shot 10-for-12 from the field and picked up seven rebounds in the loss.

Bornova took a 10-point lead at the half, leading 48-38, slightly building on a 28-20 lead from the end of the first quarter. Knowles tried to will his team back in the second half but a 41-40 second half advantage was not enough as Bornova’s first half cushion was enough to land them the win.

Coleby had a quiet afternoon at home for his team, Merkezefendi Belediyesi Denizli Basket, as they lost 75-70 to Global Connect Travel Düzce at Pamukkale Üniversitesi Spor Salonu in Denizli, Turkey. Coleby fouled out with 3:57 remaining in the game with the visitors up 67-63. He finished with two points and six boards in 15 minutes of play, going 1-for-5 from the field. Coleby never got into a rhythm due to him being in foul trouble.

After going down 18-13 at the end of the first quarter, Denizli used a 26-23 second quarter advantage to cut the lead to 41-39 at the half. Denizli was outscored 19-13 in the third quarter, and the visitors went up 60-52 at the end of three. An 18-15 fourth quarter advantage was too little too late for Denizli, as Duzce came away with the win.

Coleby and Knowles will have a break from regular season play this week. Coleby will return to action on Monday, February 1, when his team plays a home game against Mamak Belediyesi (8-7). Tip-off time is at 2 p.m. local time, eight hours ahead of EST here in The Bahamas. Knowles will return to the court in an away game for his team against Kocaeli BŞB Kağitspor (9-6) at Kocaeli Atatürk Spor Salonu, in Kocaeli, Turkey. That game will be played on Saturday, January 30, at 2 p.m. local time, eight hours ahead of EST here in The Bahamas.

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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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