Team Bahamas couldn’t have asked for a rougher start to the FIBA Americas Under-15 (U15) Girls Centrobasket Championship this week as they are winless in three games, losing each one convincingly.
About a week after the boys ended their version of the tournament in fourth, The Bahamas’ girls are in action and were hoping for a better showing. So far, it’s not to be as they ended the single robin robin section of the tournament winless in three games.
The semifinal games will be played today, and the gold and bronze medal games are scheduled for tomorrow, all at the Coliseo Fernando ‘Rube’ Hernandez in Gurabo, Puerto Rico – the same venue where the boys played the week before.
Just the top three nations will qualify for the FIBA Americas Under-16 (U16) Girls Championship in 2023.
In The Bahamas’ first game of the tournament, they were drilled by the host nation, losing to Puerto Rico emphatically, 101-20. The Bahamas never stood a chance in the one-sided affair as the more skilled Puerto Ricans raced out to a double digit lead in the first quarter and never looked back.
In addition to shooting the ball well, the Puerto Ricans played great defense as well, limiting The Bahamas to just three points in the first quarter. By the end of one, Puerto Rico was ahead 19-3. Much of the same continued in the second quarter as the Puerto Ricans outscored Team Bahamas 30-6 to take an insurmountable 49-9 lead into the half.
Puerto Rico continued to pour it on, outscoring The Bahamas 18-6 in the third quarter and 34-5 in the fourth.
Puerto Rico took 43 more shot attempts than The Bahamas and shot 40 percent from the field (38-for-95) compared to just 16.7 percent for Team Bahamas (7-for-42). They knocked down eight three point shots in the game while The Bahamas was 0-for-7 from deep.
Puerto Rico’s leading scorer Desirek Marie Nieves Pereira scored more than the entire Bahamian team with 23 points on 7-for-10 shooting. Mia Canales added 14 points, Arielis Marie Valle Villegas dropped in 13 points and Jayshlynn Vega Rivera and Adriana Isabelle Robles Rivera scored 11 apiece.
Terrell McCoy was the only player in double figures for Team Bahamas with 12. No other player scored more than two for them.
On Monday, The Bahamas fared better but still lost by 34 points to the Dominican Republic (DR). They fell 79-45 in another wire-to-wire loss.
The Bahamas trailed 30-9 after the first quarter and were down 51-22 at the half. They showed some signs of life in the third and fourth quarters as they were outscored just 17-15 in the third and 11-8 in the fourth.
Karina Capellán paced the Dominican Republic with a game-high 22 points on 9-for-26 shooting. Alanna Yiselle Monte de Oca Pérez scored 20 points, Emely Belis Del Rosario added 17 and Keila Saldivar dropped in 10.
Savannah Turnquest led Team Bahamas with 11 points. Dwaynae Knowles contributed 10, Geontae Simpson had eight and McCoy finished with seven.
The Bahamas shot a bit better from the field, going 18-for-68 for 26.5 percent shooting but the DR was at 35.6 percent, shooting 31-for-87.
In The Bahamas’ final game of the single robin robin section of the tournament, they were blasted by Mexico, losing by 100 points, 119-19.
The Bahamas were never in the game as almost half of the first quarter elapsed before they even got on the scoreboard. They were already down by double digits at that point. Mexico went on to outscore them 31-6 in the opening quarter, and as if it couldn’t get any worse, The Bahamas was limited to just one point in the second quarter and that came on a free shot by Takeithra Hanna with just seven seconds left before the end of the first half.
Mexico went on a killer 43-0 scoring run covering the end of the first quarter up until seven seconds left in the first half. They had an inalienable 72-7 lead at the half. Mexico went on to lead 94-13 after the third quarter and led by as much as 102 points in the fourth before settling for the 100-point win.
Nothing positive could be said about this game for The Bahamas.
Sandra Acuña led Mexico in scoring with 30 points on 15-for-20. Mariant Castillo and Channel Ochoa added 14 apiece.
Terrell McCoy and Andica Curtis led The Bahamas with six points apiece.
The Bahamas had its worst shooting performance of the mini tournament, making just 7-of-48 shots for 14.58 percent. Mexico was well over 50 percent, shooting 52-for-88 for 59.09 percent shooting.
Team Bahamas is coached by Varel Clarke.
As mentioned, the tournament served as a qualifier for the 2023 FIBA Americas Under-16 Girls Championship. FIBA Americas is one of five regional bodies under FIBA (International Basketball Federation) – the world’s governing body for basketball.