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Smith: Preseason play has shed a lot of light

Guardian Sports Reporter

Published: Oct 21, 2013

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In a couple of days, the inaugural preseason in the New Providence Basketball Association (NPBA) will come to a close, only to spark the start, of what executives believe will be the best season in the history of the league.

President Keith ‘Belsey’ Smith said the preseason play has shed a lot of light and provided more insight for all who took part. He noted that a number of changes and improvements will be made before the start of the regular season.

“Preseason is expected to be finished by the middle of next week, right now we are down to the four top teams, all of whom had done an incredible job of playing hard,” said Smith. “I must say the preseason has been everything we intended it or wanted it to be. We’ve gotten comments from the coaches and the players saying it was long overdue and how much they appreciate it. The coaches have gotten a chance to see how some of their players gel with the old guard and the transferred players are fitting into the environment they were not accustomed to before. All in all, it has been well. We have gotten a chance to look at some new referees, some new statisticians and others who will be coming on board. Overall, it has been very profitable as organizations within the NPBA are all growing. The coaches are growing, referees and statisticians are all pleased.”

Smith confirmed that 10 teams will take part this season, with two from previous years joining forces, increasing their chances of advancing to the play-offs. The defending champions, the Mailboat Cybots, have confirmed their participation, as well as last year’s runners-up, the Commonwealth Bank Giants. The Stingers and the Conquers are now one team and have shown just how powerful they’ve become, since coming together. The Real Deal Shockers, Royal Bahamas Defence Force Mariners and the Royal Bahamas Police Force Crimestopppers are all in the mix, once again this year.

“I think this season by far is going to be the most competitive. Over the last two years, especially the last year, a lot of the clubs who have been in the league, when we considered them a couple of years ago new clubs or teams are all making their mark. They have seen and have all gotten a taste of the action and have made the necessary adjustments. When you look at a team like the Cleaners, the Stingers and the Conquers are all a force to be reckoned with.

“We are going to have about 10 teams, which is quite manageable for us. So far, everything that I have seen since preseason shows me that the top four teams are not as comfortable like they were in the past. They are talking about their new players and some of the younger players who have come into the league, who have played high school ball are now into the league, making it more competitive. Most of the squads have gone very young, and the young players are adapting very well.

“I consider this year to be our best and most prepared to date. The preparation for this season has gone well. I think what we should have done, or still need to do is get some additional funding to advance the course for some of our other programs. That is always a challenge and problem for us, but we will continue to work at it. I wouldn’t have done anything differently. This was something that we wanted to do and we finally did it this year. I think we will see the benefits of that, as the season goes on. One of the things you would have found out that most of the players didn’t train; they didn’t work out together as a squad, and this is an opportunity for them to do it, and they are really comfortable about it, and the executives feel good about it.”

The NPBA season is expected to tip-off at the end of the month. All games are scheduled to be played at the A.F. Adderley gymnasium.

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