Cayman eyes redemption

Cayman basketball has stumbled of late in international competitions.

It’s no secret that in recent years the sport has struggled to generate victories abroad. This year has been no different with a disappointing showing at the 2011 Island Games. However another chance for success is present with this week’s Caribbean Basketball Confederation Senior Men’s Championships in Nassau, put on by the Bahamian Basketball Federation.

National team coach Daniel Augustine states the Cayman side is motivated to improve on a seventh place spot in the Isle of Wight.

“The Island Games were a warm-up for bigger fish like the CBC,” Augustine said. “We all understand where we have to be as a team. Mind you everyone played well and things fell into place late. We may have come seventh but we did win three games and lose two games.”

At the CBC competition Cayman faces 12 other countries in Antigua, Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cuba, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Vincent and Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos and the Virgin Islands. Cayman is slated to play in Zone B against hosts Bahamas (who they are expected to face on Saturday 23 July), Bermuda, BVI and St. Vincent.

Augustine feels his squad has a good chance to win their group and make history.

“This is the first time Cayman is taking part in the championship. We have to be first or second in the group and we would make history by making the final four. There’s a strong possibility of that happening. It’s always going to be a team effort. We will need a team leader though all five guys on the floor will have to play.”

The top three teams from the CBC event will advance to the Centro Basket, which is made up of the top eight countries in Central America and the Caribbean. The top four sides in the Centro Basket competition move on to the FIBA Americas Zone Championships with the next step being the World Championships and the Olympics.

For the record Cayman is taking mostly the same team that travelled to the Island Games in Jorge Ebanks, Jerome Graham-Record, Chad Leslie, Jerome Narcisse, Dwight O’Garro, Samuel O’Garro, Shaad O’Garro, Lloyd Samuels, Deandre Simpson, Cory Thompson and Rotando Thompson. The lone change to the roster is the replacement of David Terry with Jasen Campbell, the starting point guard for 2011 men’s league champions the Dominos Warriors.