|New development program planned for junior squad|
Guardian Sports Reporter
Published: Aug 20, 2012
The introduction of a development program for junior girls interested in playing basketball will come sooner than expected, now that the team was unsuccessful in their bid to qualify for the Tournament of Americas.
On Sunday, the under-15 girls team took to the court against the Cayman Islands battling for the fifth or sixth spot at the Centrobasket Championships (CBC). When the final buzzer was sounded, The Bahamas fell 50-81. Barbados was seventh, The Bahamas placed sixth and the Cayman Islands were fifth, at the championships held in Mexico. Host country Mexico was set to play Puerto Rico for the gold medal and Costa Rica and Guatemala played for the bronze medal. No results were available for the remaining two games up to press time.
The development program will be implemented in about two months from the date of return of the team. Vice president in the Bahamas Basketball Federation (BBF) Mario Bowleg said the program and ways to improve it will be revisited in October.
“Keeping in communication with Simone Beneby, I guess we left some players home that should have made the team and could have made a contribution in the games,” said Bowleg, who is responsible for national teams and development of the national programs in the country. “We must revamp that entire program. We have already put things in place for the seniors and now we need to do the same for the junior players. There is no reason why the junior teams, especially the girls, can not qualify. We have a lot of talent on the junior side at this age and some a little older like 15-19. There are some ideas that have been in the minds of some executives now and we intend to discuss ways going forward during the month of October. We will revamp the team.
“The federation is definitely disappointed that they were not able to qualify. I am looking at the pools and the one that they were set in, I felt that they should have been able to come out of it. Play-by-play, they were in the game with Costa Rica and they should have won that game, give themselves a chance to get into the playoffs. Had they gotten into the final four and crossed over, they would have definitely stood a good chance to at least getting a bronze. That would have given them the opportunity to qualify. Seeing that they have never qualified from the Centrobasket at this age level, I thought it was one of the best chances being in the pool with Costa Rica and Mexico to qualify. Not being able to qualify is a little disappointing, as far as the executives in the federation are concerned.”
The Bahamas dropped their first game against Mexico on Thursday 30-88. On Friday, they took on Costa Rica and lost 47-53. The game with Barbados was played on Saturday to see which squad will play the Cayman Islands for fifth or sixth. The Bahamas eliminated Barbados 53-30.
Bowleg added: “For the last 12-years I don’t think that the junior program has qualified or been that successful. So there have to be some changes with this being the first year of this executive. They did the best they can with what they had so it is just a matter of getting prepared, starting over and getting it right.
“They definitely needed more play here and aboard. They were scheduled to play several games before travel but the coaches opted not to play. The lack of games, prior to travel, hurt the team. You can see how the games progressed they were just getting a feel of their rotation which should have been down pack before they left. I think that was huge mistake.”
In other news from the hard court, Michigan State University Giants proved that they were the best big men on Friday night by handing local squad Commonwealth Bank Giants another loss in the Summer of Thunder Invitational. The MSU Giants won 75-58.