Bahamas'U-17 Men's Basketball team faces tough draw



Tribune Sports



THE Bahamas' Under-17 Men's Basketball team is faced with a difficult draw with hopes to advance to the FIBA Tournament of Americas.

The draw was released yesterday for the Men's Centrobasket Under-17 Championship, which will be hosted in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, July 26-30.

The Bahamas was placed in Group A which also includes Guyana alongside regional powerhouses Puerto Rico and Mexico.

Group B will include the Virgin Islands, Panama, Jamaica and the Dominican Republic.

The top-three teams from the tournament will qualify to the FIBA U18 Americas Championship 2018, that will be played in St. Catharines, Canada from June 11-17, 2018.

The competition system of the tournament consists of two phases. In the Group Phase, the eight (8) participating teams will be divided into two (2) groups of four (4) teams. Teams will play in a round-robin format for three days. The best two teams from each group will advance to the next phase, where the first place of Group A will play against the second place in Group B and vice versa. The winners of the Semi-Finals will advance to the Gold Medal Match, while the losers will play for the bronze of the continental event.

"On behalf of the FIBA family, we want to express our thanks and gratitude to the national federation of the Dominican Republic for hosting these very important events," said FIBA Americas President Usie Richards, , "We look forward to a very spirited competition and determining the best national programmes in the region."

The Bahamas earned a trip to the tournament after they won the Caribbean Basketball Confederation's Under-16 Tournament in July 2016.

The Bahamas finished the tournament with a perfect 6-0 record and dominated the tournament from the opening tip by winning each of their games by an average margin of 51.7 points per win.

The Bahamas routed Antigua and Barbuda, 109-71 in the tournament opener.

In game two they steamrolled the British Virgin Islands, 101-40. In game three the Bahamas scored a tournament high and delivered the most lopsided win of the event with a 125-21 win over Dominica. The Bahamas concluded group play with a 100-41 win over Barbados. They advanced to the final with a 72-51 win over previously undefeated Jamaica and capped off a dominant six-game run by claiming the gold medal with an 84-57 win over host country Guyana at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall in Georgetown, Guyana.

In their last appearance at the FIBA Centrobasket Under-17 Championship for Men, the Bahamas ended the tournament with a pair of wins in the reclassification round, finished fifth overall and did not advance to the 2016 Tournament of the Americas.

At the tournament hosted in San Juan, Puerto Rico, the Bahamas finished with a 3-2 record overall but won just a single game in group play before they were relegated to the lower bracket. Despite the end result, D'Andre Vilmar emerged as a rising star in the region.

The 6'4" guard out of Abaco, led the tournament in scoring at 19.6 points per game and rebounding at 12.4 boards per game. He was also second in assists as he dished out 4.6 per game.


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