Cuba Cup blow for Bahamas


Senior Sports Reporter


COACH Wayde Watson said his team dug themselves a hole at the start of their first game against Cuba yesterday in the Caribbean Basketball Confederation’s FIBA Women’s Caribbean Cup - and the team wasn’t able to get back into the contest on the first day of competition in Paramaribo, Suriname.

The Bahamas suffered a 77-50 loss.

“We had a rough start,” said Watson, the team’s interim coach, assisted by Varel Davis and Anton Francis.

“We tried to put it together in the third quarter where we were down by about 12 points. But that was all she wrote. I think we played as best as we could under the circumstances.

“Cuba came out aggressively against us and before we knew what happened, we were down. It’s hard to come back against a team that was playing as well as Cuba did.

“Valerie (Nesbitt) really stepped it up and got us going offensively, but we needed a little more help from the other players and we didn’t get that tonight.”

Watson, filling in for head coach Yolett McPhee-McCuin, who was unable to travel as she was preparing for her new job as head coach at Ole Miss University, said Team Bahamas played well after they got over the jitters, but because they had to exert too much energy to get back into the game, it really hurt more than anything.

Cuba went on a quick 12-0 tear before The Bahamas finally got on the scoreboard on Ashley Moss’ lay-up six minutes into the game. The Bahamas eventually fell behind 29-7 at the end of the period.

However, The Bahamas out-scored Cuba 14-12 in the second quarter to trail 41-21 at the half. At the end of the third, The Bahamas saw Cuba hold onto a 61-39 margin.

Cuba then went on a 18-9 spurt in the fourth to put the game out of reach.

While Moss finished with just three points and four rebounds in her start, Nesbitt led The Bahamas’ scoring attack with 19 points, four rebounds, three assists and three steals. The only other player in double figures was Brea Forbes with 14 points. Shalonda Neely had seven points and Britenique Harrison added six points.

Cuba had three players in double figures led by Anisleidsy Galindo with 24 points.

Team Bahamas will now prepare to play St Vincent and the Grenadines today at 4:30 pm.

“I have to make some adjustments with out starting line-up because I want to encourage the girls to come out and play hard,” Watson said.

“We have to regroup because we have to win this game if we stand a chance to getting into the playoffs. We don’t want to lose two straight because it will put us into a difficult situation for the rest of the tournament.”

Davis said the main thing is that Team Bahamas have to tighten up on their defence.

“If we can play better defence and be more patient in our offensive attack, we will start our chance,” she stressed. “This is our first game so by our next game, we should play much better than we did against Cuba.”

Only three teams are in Group A, so this is a must win game against St Vincent and the Grenadines as the top two teams will advance to the playoffs to play against the top two teams out of Group B, comprising of Barbados, Dominican Republic, Guyana and Suriname.


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