The road to qualification FIBA Women’s AmeriCup 2019 begins in earnest tonight for team Bahamas.
The women’s senior national team will face Puerto Rico at 6.30pm in the opening game of the 2018 Centrobasket Women’s Championship hosted in Manati, Puerto Rico.
The tournament continues through August 24 and the top four finishers will qualify for the FIBA Women’s AmeriCup 2019.
The Bahamas is included in Group B along with Costa Rica, Puerto Rico and Mexico. Group A includes Guatemala, Cuba, Virgin Islands, Dominican Republic.
The team will be lead in the frontcourt by veteran national team standout Leashja Grant.
Grant comes off a dominant season for the Lakehead Thunderwolves Athletic programme. She earned the Female Athlete of the Year and Women’s Basketball Most Valuable Player awards after she averaged 22.3 points and 14.1 points per game over the course of the season. She was named Ontario University Athletics Player of the Year and a U SPORTS 1st Team All-Canadian.
The remainder of the team includes Sha-Londa Neely, Marvia Dean, Britenique Harrison, Joette Fernander, Tracy Lewis, Ashley Moss, Shaniqua Thompson, Arlia Greene, Kendi Outten, Brea Forbes and Felicia Demeritte.
The team will be coached by Wayde Watson, assisted by Varel Clarke-Davis and Anton Francis. Lavardis Johnson is the team manager.
“The Centrobasket Women’s Championship will be the official start of the road to the FIBA Women’s AmeriCup 2019, and we are pleased to announce Puerto Rico as the host of this 2018 edition. Puerto Rico’s recent success and future participation in the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup in September is proof of their commitment to the development of women’s basketball in the country and the region. We are more than confident that it will be a great and memorable event.”, said FIBA Americas president Usie Richards.
“It is an honor and pride for me and our town of Manatí, to know that thanks to the work and effort of the National Basketball Federation of Puerto Rico, the Governor of Puerto Rico, the Sports and Recreation Department of Puerto Rico, to announce we will host the Centrobasket Women’s Championship in our city, receiving several Central American countries. We will work for this activity to be one of excellence and enjoyment, giving a warm welcome to all participating countries to our Manatí,” said José A Sánchez González, Mayor of Manatí.
In June, Bahamas women’s national basketball team clinched the bronze medal at the FIBA Caribbean Women’s Cup Championships and in the process, qualified for the Centrobasket.
At the Anthony Nesty Sporthal in Paramaribo, Suriname, The Bahamas defeated Barbados 65-56 to earn the bronze medal and joined Cuba and the Dominican Republic as qualifiers.
The Bahamas advanced out of Group A with a 1-1 win-loss record as the number two team behind Cuba at 2-0. The Dominican Republic won Group B with a 3-0 record ahead of Barbados at 2-1.