Eugene Bain leaps high in the Bahamas win over Nicaragua on Friday at the CentroBasket tournament in Panama City
By BRENT STUBBS
Senior Sports Reporter
THE Bahamas men’s national basketball team took their frustrations out on Nicaragua on Friday by winning seventh spot in the CentroBasket tournament with a 120-77 victory.
Eight of the nine Bahamians who played in the game scored in double figures to highlight the opener at the Roberto Duran Arena in Panama City, Panama.
Jean ‘Rony’ Cadot pumped in a game high 18 points with five rebounds; Leon Cooper exploded for 16 points, six assists, four steals and three rebounds and Travis Munnings also contributed 16 points with six rebounds and four assists.
The Bahamas also got 14 points and eight rebounds from Kentwan Smith; Able Joseph had 13 points, seven rebounds, three assists and three steals; David Nesbitt also had 13 points with six rebounds, two assists and two steals; Eugene Bain had 12 points and seven rebounds and Michael Carey chipped in with 10 points and four assists.
D’Shon Taylor, who played sparingly in the tournament and came into the game late in the second half, finished with eight points, six rebounds and three block shots.
Deandre Ayton, Jaraun ‘Keno’ Burrows and Taran Cox did not play in the game, which came after the Bahamas lost narrowly to Mexico on Thursday.
The Bahamas, coached by Mario Bowleg, Norris Bain, Wayde Watson and Kevin ‘K J’ Johnson, out-performed Nicaragua in almost every facet of the game.
From the two-point field, the Bahamas shot 58.3 per cent compared to their opponents’ 39 and had a 27.8 to 20.8 percent advantage from behind the three-point arc.
Nicaragua, however, held a 20-17 edge on the offensive boards, but the Bahamas took a 36-28 margin on the defensive end to control the rebounds with a total of 53 while Nicaragua had 48.
The Bahamas had a 23-10 advantage in assists, 7-19 in turnovers and 13-2 in steals, but they were even with six blocks apiece.
The Bahamas committed 21 fouls compared to 25 by Nicaragua and posted 29-2 fast break points that eventually helped to give the Bahamas their biggest lead, 48 points, at the start of the fourth quarter.
After opening up a 32-21 lead at the end of the first quarter, the Bahamas went on a 32-6 tear in the second quarter to extend their lead to 64-27 at the half. They used another 30-23 spurt in the third and extended their margin to 94-49 after three quarters. Nicaragua outscored the Bahamas 28-26 in the fourth, but it was a little too late to put any dent into the huge lead.
The Bahamas were forced to play for seventh place after finishing fourth in Group B with a 1-3 win-loss record, losing their last group game 84-81 to Mexico.
After opening up with an 82-74 loss to the British Virgin Islands on Sunday, the Bahamas blew out Costa Rico 82-58 on Monday, only to come back to suffer a 87-80 defeat at the hands of the Dominican Republic.