Team Bahamas affected by FIBA tournament’s cancellation


Sports Reporter


THE Bahamas’ bid toward FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Qualification will now follow a new path after the international governing body made adjustments to its tournament structure.

FIBA’s Sub-Zone CONCENCABA (Central American and the Caribbean) voted and approved the cancellation of the Pre-Qualifier tournament that was set to be played this July in Bolivia and the Bahamas will be one of three teams affected.

The sixth and seventh place teams from both Centrobasket (Bahamas, Cuba) and South American Championships (Chile and Paraguay) will now complete the 16-team field for the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Americas Qualifiers set to tip-off in November 2017.

The Bahamas closed out last June’s Centrobasket tournament in Panama with a 120-77 win over Nicaragua.

The team was forced to play for seventh place after finishing fourth in Group B with a 1-3 win-loss record.

After opening up with an 82-74 loss to the British Virgin Islands, the Bahamas blew out Costa Rico 82-58, only to come back to suffer an 87-80 defeat at the hands of the Dominican Republic and an 84-81 loss to Mexico.

In February, some of the top brass from FIBA Americas were in town to advise the Bahamas Basketball Federation, the government and corporate Bahamas on how they can maximise on their effort to get through a new qualifying format that will benefit smaller nations like the Bahamas.

At the end of their trip, the FIBA representatives held a press conference with the BBF and the Bahamas Olympic Committee to outline just how the Bahamas can get in a position to secure their spot over the next two years.

“Over the last two years, we have been making assessment visits to our member federations to find out their weaknesses and strengths that they have in order to prepare them for the new competition that will start in November,” said Anibal Garcia, FIFA Americas’ national federation and sport manager. “We have a new competition system that will change all aspects for basketball and we have some new benefits for our federations. It will affect the competition and the teams financially and the development of basketball.”

 The November qualifier will feature play in a home and away series, ensuring the Bahamian public will have a rare opportunity to see their best players play together at home.

 “FIBA is changing its structure, FIBA is changing its competition system,” Victor Mansure, the Executive Director Assistant to Garcia said, “They realize that they have home games in order for somebody here to see Buddy Hield hit five three-pointers in a half, see a dunk from DeAndre Ayton and to see a steal for them to be like their idols.”

The cycle calls for a day of travel, another day of practice and then the game is played. The following day, the teams will travel to the opposing country, get in a day of practice and then they play before they complete the first series of games.

 Mansure said that FIBA will provide the television coverage and with local deals being struck. From the deal, the profits will be distributed to the federations. FIBA will also cover the players’ insurance, which will provide expenses for all injuries and in the event that a player can’t play for three months, they will be compensated for that period. The referees travel and per diem will also be taken care of by FIBA.

The federations, in term, will be able to secure their own sponsorship through advertising on the two free throw circles, the two baselines and they will also receive 80 percent of all advertising around the court and any other sponsorship in and outside of the arena.

The Bahamas may be forced to field a team without its top player, Buddy Hield of the Sacramento Kings.

According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, “the NBA does not intend to release its players -- of any nationality -- for the in-season World Cup qualifying windows that begin later this year.”


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