Barbados men and women’s teams are back home after being beaten at the just concluded championship. But Barbados Amateur Basketball Association (BABA) officials say that despite the results, they had still gained sufficient insight into what transpired in Tortola to work toward improving the island’s basketball.
Chairman of the BABA’s selection committee, Francis Williams, told Barbados TODAY they were not satisfied with the results of both teams but pointed out that there were challenges for the players heading into the competition.
“There were some challenges especially with regards to the women’s team which lacked experience. We were very low on taller players and we could have only selected from who were available and we were limited in that regard. But on the other hand, the men’s team was a little bit better talent wise. We had a wider range to choose from and therefore we had more balance where the men’s team was concerned,” he said.
Williams added: “We could always use more talent but we will work with the ones that we have here locally and make sure they are as prepared as they can be. But at the end of the day talent would always win out, so wherever we can improve we will look to do that. But when you look at development which is a longterm goal from the BABA point of view, and then you look at preparing a national team, those could be two completely different things.”
The BABA uses the Barbados Community College and the Garfield Sobers Sports Complex as its training facilities and Williams pointed that there were problems of availability for the basketballers prior to travelling to the British Virgin Islands.
“The last week of preparation for the men and the last two weeks of preparation for the women before leaving for Tortola was hampered by not having a facility available to train and I think both teams lost a bit of their rhythm as a result. But we do not own the facilities and it is a challenge that we will be faced with from time to time and I am not sure if there is any short term fix to getting around it at this point in time,” he said.
Head coach for the women’s team, Terry Inniss, told Barbados TODAY that in his opinion the results achieved in Tortola were quite satisfactory given the circumstances under which they played.
“Of course we were in rebuilding mode and we took away ten rookies and we ask them to compete and they competed to the best of their ability. There is nothing I can say that I asked them to do that they did not do. I must admit to you that the games were challenging, physical wise, and it was just too physical for us including the game against St Vincent. Not to say our ladies were wimps but in certain areas where we expected fouls to be called they were not called. Teams used their hands to nudge us off the ball, so we really took a beating. But I don’t think we can fault them for their efforts because they gave of their best,” Inniss said.
The coach explained that he was relatively satisfied with the direction in which the team was going and added that they would be looking to improve more on the physical aspect of the game if Barbados were to do well at the highest level.
“The group is a good group to work with and apart from Jamila Studer who recently had a baby, I don’t think there is anybody that was left in Barbados that would have been able to make a significant impact whether we take them or leave them here. The problem had nothing to do with skills but the actual physicality of the game because I think the [Barbados] team can match any of the other teams in the competition with skills. In all honesty, in all of my thirty something years
in basketball, I have never seen the game get so physical. But we will make sure to rectify that and look towards doing some serious work in the gym for the next tournament,” Inniss said.
During the just concluded tournament Barbados’ women lost heavily to the Dominican Republic (86-42); Virgin Islands (83-65); Bahamas (84-59); Bahamas (102-54); and defeated St. Vincent and the Grenadines 70-63. They finished sixth in the eight-team competition.
Barbados’ men fared slightly better losing to the US Virgin Islands (66-53); the British Virgin Islands (81-77); Guyana (79-58). They defeated Guyana in an earlier match 80-69 and also disposed of Antigua 83-70. They also finished sixth in the eight-team tournament.
Jamaica won the women’s title while the Bahamas took the men’s equivalent.