The Barbados national basketball team left the island on Sunday to compete in the 2014 CARICOM Basketball Championship being held Tortola. The 12-member squad comprised of five national caps and seven rookies all chosen from the premier league division.
The team was in high spirits and according to head coach Nigel Lloyd, had really bonded in the past weeks. He said he thought their chances for making it to the medal round were good and anything other than that would be a disappointment. Lloyd added the team had a lot of depth and their size and athleticism would work well in their favour. He maintained they were not carrying any passengers on this tour and in the event they had particular game situations occurring, they had backups who could come in to give rest and support. He also made it clear they would not be relying on any one person and knew they would all step up to the plate and give of their best when called
to do so.
Noting that they were in the same pool as the host country, Lloyd felt their biggest challenge would be the home crowd support, as fans usually pushed teams to a higher level. He said the availability of a court for practice might also be an issue as host countries usually practiced often. In terms of their health, Lloyd said Akeem Marsh had a minor issue but that had been taken care of and Jeremy Gill had fallen on his knee at a practice session prior to their departure but had sustained no major injury.
Lloyd expressed some disappointment at the unavailability of local practice facilities leading up to the tournament. His major concern was in the area of shooting, as this was where he felt they needed to focus as a team. He spoke of the past week where they had a practice game on Monday but since then were unable to secure an adequate court on which to practise. They were given access to one facility only to arrive and be faced with the absence of rings. This, he said, occurred on two occasions.
Lloyd however remained upbeat concerning the team’s chances for the medal round and took the opportunity to tell Barbados TODAY that they would not be using any of the past disappointments as an excuse, but as a motivator to do their best whatever the circumstance.