Barbados’ first game of the Caribbean Basketball Confederation Men’s Championships ended in a 70-63 defeat at the hands of St Vincent and the Grenadines at the Multi Purpose Complex, Road Town, Tortola, British Virgin Islands tonight.
At the end of the first three quarters St Vincent and the Grenadines led 27-9, 40-26 and 54-45, before going on to a well-deserved victory despite a late surge from Barbados that fell short of overcoming the deficit which they had conceded from the start of the encounter. St Vincent had started off feverishly with a 25-9 run at the end of the first period, and kept a commanding lead heading into halftime.
Barbados started the game with John Jones, Akeem Marsh, Keefe Birkett, Mark Bridgeman and David Gill. Despite playing catch-up throughout the encounter, Barbados perhaps lost the game from a lack of bench support. While St. Vincent got 20 bench points from Nyika Williams, Lezlo McKenzie and Quincy Jackson combined, Barbados’ ineffectual bench contributed a mere eight points.
Barbados matched St Vincent on the boards, with both recording 39 rebounds. Both teams were guilty of not properly protecting the ball with Barbados committing a huge 20 turnovers, while St Vincent went two worse. St Vincent collected 18 points from turnovers they which forced, while Barbados scored 15. Barbados also got 12 second opportunity points, while St Vincent had eight.
Marsh had a good game for Barbados with 14 points and 11 rebounds, while Jones also notched 14 points but managed just two rebounds. The returning Aamir Morris saw little court time, as did Jabar Williams, with both getting fewer than two minutes in which they did not score. Junior Moore scored six points off the bench to go with four rebounds while Charles Vanderpool had two points and five rebounds. Rahiim Gibbons went scoreless in seven minutes of court time where he also grabbed three rebounds.
St Vincent’s captain and forward Sean Baptiste proved a headache for the Barbados side. He was the leading scorer with 21 points and also showed his worth on the defensive end. He had excellent support from Alexis Foyle who chipped in with19 points, seven rebounds and three assists. Foyle has had experience at the Brigham Young University.
The 6ft 10 in centre from Bequia, Shawn King, also had a solid game adding 10 points and 16 massive boards to St Vincent’s winning effort. Williams who provided such an important spark off the bench, had a critical 10 points, while also contributing four steals and four assists.
Barbados jumped out with a 17-4 run in the third quarter to cut their ever-present deficit to single digits at the end of three quarters. Birkett contributed to Barbados’ offensive push with 11 points, while in 31 minutes on the floor Bridgeman went for eight points and nine rebounds. Gill had eight points, nine assists and three rebounds.
In another game played today defending champions, the Bahamas won convincingly against Guyana 89-69 in Group B preliminary action.
The Bahamas used a 15-4 run that was ignited by a Kentwan Smith three-pointer at the 6:12 mark in the first quarter and were able to control the game after that. Smith finished with 18 points on a perfect 7-7 FG and 3-3 from the three-point area.
Guyana’s efforts were aided by a strong performance by Dave Causway who had a game-high 19 points, including 11 of his team’s 13 in the third quarter.
The teams in the tournament are British Virgin Islands, United States Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, St Vincent & the Grenadines and Barbados in Group A; Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Bermuda, Guyana and Suriname in Group B.