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Bahamas, Dominican Republic, and Suriname celebrate wins on Day 2
SURINAME (FIBA Women's AmeriCup 2019) - Bahamas played a strong game against St. Vincent and the Grenadines and secured the win with a 75 - 50 score. After the loss against Cuba yesterday they needed the win to stay in the running for the competition. St. Vincent and the Grenadines didn’t have luck at their side today; three players got an injury during the game. Their coach made point that his team is more familiar with concrete flooring and it’s a different game playing here on wood. The best performance of their team was through Nathifa Weekes, she scored 10 points. It will be a challenge tomorrow against Cuba because their roster has only 10 players and with the injuries they can have an issue with subs.
Looking at the stats it can be seen that Bahamas held a healthy advantage at each quarter end where the score deficit averaged around 10
points. Their opponents succumbed in the fourth quarter and Bahamas capitalized on that by increasing the deficit with 14 points. Tracy Lewis
was their top scorer with 14 points and with good support from Valerie Nesbitt and Pamela Bethel, both with 12 points. Within the team there
is a good vibe where the younger players help boost the morale and enthusiasm of the more experienced players.
St. Vincent and the Grenadines chances look very slim against Cuba tomorrow. It’s a do-or-die situation where a loss means not qualifying for
the next round of the tournament.
The Dominican Republic team is determined to make this tournament theirs. The belief was that Dominican Republic had a slight advantage
due to their better player physique compared to Barbados. In practice it was made clear that they have more than that by delivering an
outstanding score of 93 - 33. Their strategy is to have the best defense, this way they can minimize the scoring chances of their opponent and
have better focus on their offense. This can be seen with Yohanna Morton’s great performance; a score of 19 points with an impressive 89%
The game was in fact decided in the second quarter by Dominican Republic. They nearly doubled their score from 27 to 50 while their opponent only made 7 points in that quarter. Their bench made up for nearly half the points and steered the team effectively to the win. Barbados was not in the right mindset for the game, even their coach didn’t expect to lose with such a large score. Their best player was Toni Atherley who scored 11 points. Barbados needs to win the following game to maintain their competitive advantage built up after their game 1 win. They will face the host Suriname tomorrow and it will be interesting to see who wins that encounter.
The match between host Suriname and Guyana lived up to its expectations. In a hard fought battle it is Suriname who gets the full points, final
score 73 - 52. The game was high-paced and within the first 4 minutes Suriname reached a 10 - 0 score. The following 3 minutes Guyana made a
comeback and closed the gap, standing only one point behind. Suriname had difficulties finding a way to neutralize Miriam Mc Kenzie from
Guyana, she eventually reached a double-double by becoming top scorer with 24 points and 11 rebounds. By halftime Guyana had a one point
advantage going into the second half of the game.
Nearing the end of the third quarter Suriname improved their scoring and kept a tight defense on Guyana. Guyana had difficulties finding the
net for nearly 4 minutes, this made it possible for Suriname to set up and advantage of 10+ points after 3 minutes into the third quarter. Cyarah
Kensmil stepped up and helped the Surinamese side with her top performance of 22 points. The best performance came from play maker
Zephanya Zeefuik who also secured 17 points and managed to have 9 steals. In the final quarter Guyana couldn’t make the comeback and was
forced to leave the match points for Suriname. It’s interesting to note that Guyana has a very young squad (average age 17yrs) in this
tournament. The coach stated that it’s their strategy to create experienced players from a young squad so that they can have better chances for
a top spot in future tournaments.
In order to reach the next round Suriname needs to win their game against Barbados. Guyana, who won’t make it to the next round, has a
difficult game against the more experienced Dominican Republic. It will be interesting to see these match ups.