The Bahamas Mantas Water Polo under-13 (U13) mixed team finished fourth at the South Florida Winter Cup at the Pompano Beach Aquatics Center in Pompano, Florida, over the weekend. The two-day tournament began on Saturday and wrapped up yesterday.
Leading the team in scoring was Remington Minnis, and the best defender was Jayden Smith.
In the bronze medal game yesterday, the Mantas lost 17-11 to Hialeah to finish fourth, turning in a valiant effort.
The team had a turnaround time of 30 minutes for that game, and it appears that fatigue got the best of them.
“This was very difficult to handle with 12-year-old players but they went in and actually passed more accurately than before. Defense was tight and we kept the 2-3 goals difference,” said Head Coach Laszlo “Coach Lotty” Borbely.
Scoring for them in that game was female player Chelsea Smith, Minnis, Davawn Turner and Victor Laslop. Borbely added that the score did not reflect the effort his team put into the game.
Overall, the team played four games as they had their first real competition. Borbely was satisfied with the team’s progress.
“The under-13 team is new and inexperienced,” Borbely said. “This was their first real competition. The opponents all had bigger players so we had a difficult time controlling their attacks. The team put out a valiant effort to stop the powerful attacks and answer with goals.”
The Mantas’ first game was against Hialeah on Saturday. That game finished 16-7 in favor of Hialeah. Minnis scored four goals in that game, Laslop had two goals and Turner had one goal.
The second game saw the Mantas going up against a tough South Florida Water Polo Club. The Mantas fell 18-6 with Laslop finishing with three goals, Minnis with two goals and Turner ending with one goal.
In their third game, the Mantas fell to the Riptides 16-7. Minnis scored four goals in this one and Turner scored three goals.
Borbely knows what the team has to work on. He said he saw improvement in each game.
“Obviously we have to improve our strength and fitness,” Borbely said. “We also have to practice more to make accurate passes and be fully aware of the games. All in all I am very satisfied [with] our team’s performance. They improved in every game and every player put out maximum effort to play well.”
Borbely said that he is looking forward to developing this next generation of water polo players in the coming months and years.
In less than a month, the Mantas will send under-19, under-16 and under-14 teams to Coral Springs, Florida, to participate in the 18th South Florida International Water Polo Tournament, set for February 14-16.