ROAD TOWN, Tortola, CMC – Defending champions the Bahamas and the US Virgin Islands were to contest yesterday’s final of the men’s Caribbean Basketball Championships after romping to convincing victories in their respective semi-finals here Saturday.
Playing at the Multi-Sports Complex, the Bahamas got past the hosts British Virgin Islands 85-68 while the USVI clobbered Antigua 108-68.
In other playoff action, Suriname defeated Barbados 71-49 and will now play for fifth spot with St. Vincent and the Grenadines who edged out Bermuda 74-73.
Cayman Islands, meanwhile, captured ninth place when they scored an 89-60 victory over Guyana to keep the Guyanese winless in the competition.
The Bahamas were always in control of their encounter, leading 24-14 at the end of the first quarter and 50-30 at half-time. They were up 69-47 at the start of the final quarter and though they were out-scored, cruised to an easy victory.
For the Bahamas, Mangun Rolle led five players in double figures with 14 points, with Leon Cooper and Eugene Bain each scoring 13 points and David Nesbitt putting up 12 points and nine rebounds.
Kadeem Coleby was good for ten points.
Kleon Penn powered the BVI with 13 points and 13 rebounds while Norville Carey also scored 13 points and Killven Samuel, 10.
In their semi-final, Antigua were blown away by the powerful USVI, trailing 7-25 at the end of the first quarter and leaving themselves with too much to do.
They improved in the second quarter but were still down 27-47 at the half and the USVI conjured a big third quarter, to put the game away 81-52 at the start of the final stanza.
Cuthbert Victor led the way for the victors with 21 points and 11 rebounds while Ivan Aska chipped in with 15 points and nine rebounds and Georgio Milligan, 14 points.
For the losers, Ernest Scott the third was the high man with 15 points while Kenya Achom and Raviel Burton scored ten points each.
SVG were almost left disappointed after nearly squandering giving a 36-27 half-time lead with a poor final quarter, and were forced to struggle in the end to hold off the Bermudians.
They trailed 16-19 after the first quarter but used a tremendous second period to storm to a handy half-time lead, which was converted into a 14-points, 56-42 advantage at the start of the final quarter.
However, Bermuda out-scored the Vincentians 31-18 when it mattered most with the Eastern Caribbean side barely hanging on to win by a single point.
Christopher Crumpler topped all scorers with 23 points while for SVG, Alexis Foyle scored 19 points and Shawn King got 17 points and 16 rebounds.