July 1, 2014
National basketball coaches looking beyond CBC

The head coaches of the St Vincent and the Grenadines male and female basketball teams to this year’s senior Caribbean Basketball Championships (CBC) in Tortola are looking beyond their immediate assignments.{{more}}

Junior Sutton and Wayne Williams, coaches of the male and female teams respectively, acknowledged that the championships would be of a high standard, but said they expected that the Vincentian players would give of their best.

Sutton, speaking at a press conference last Wednesday, in assessing his team’s chances in the tournament noted: “We are rebuilding …Once you make a commitment you need to be positive.”

The male Vincentian outfit is made up of seven overseas based players, who will join up with five based here.

Those based overseas are John Gardiner, who resides in Nicaragua, US based Kishorn Bishop, Ajani Edwards, Sean Baptiste and Nyika Williams, along with Canada based Opong Bramble. The other player is Dameon Ottley who lives in Tortola.

Randolph Williams, Stevon Taylor, Michael Peniston, Lezlo Mc Kenzie and Orlando Fergusson are those who are based at home.

Sutton’s management team includes Oral Roberts as his assistant, Sabrina Mitchell, team manager and Ricky Coombs, a Vincentian based in Anguilla, who will serve as trainer.

Also, Shem Ollivierre travels as this country’s referee representative in the championships.

The Vincentians play the Bahamas today, Tuesday, from noon, and engage Cuba from 2 p.m. tomorrow, Wednesday. Their third match in the preliminary phase of the tournament is set for Thursday against Antigua and Barbuda, with a 2 p.m. start scheduled.

Meanwhile, Williams, in his evaluation, said: “The team is a good mix between youth and experience … We are laying the foundation for the future, but yes, we are in a competition.… I believe once you are in a competition, you have a chance of winning and we are trying to do things in a way that will give us the best opportunity to be successful.

“This is work in progress … Looking at the last tournament, I saw marked improvement in the performance of the ladies team; as a matter of fact, players from the St Vincent team made the tournament team… The bottom line is that you have to go out there and give the players the experience in order for them to understand in order to raise their standard,” Williams added.

St Vincent and the Grenadines has been placed alongside Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana and Jamaica in Group B, while Group A is made up of the Dominican Republic, the United States Virgin Islands, the Bahamas and Barbados.

St Vincent and the Grenadines women play Trinidad and Tobago at noon on July 8 and meet Jamaica the following day at 2 p.m.

The Vincentian women complete the first round of competition on July 10 versus Guyana at 2 p.m.

Carrying the St Vincent and Grenadines’ banner are Shannique de Shong, Avi-Ann Myers-Spencer, Shevern Weekes, Kia Prince, Gailene Gordon, Sorayah Williams, Dilonie Sam, Suzette Jackson, Rodnesha Diamond, Vasha Adams, Sheldeen Joseph and Lorna Ruth Caesar. They have Randolph Williams as their assistant coach and Sonja Lewis as manager.

The locally based players left last Friday and Saturday for Tortola for pre-championships camps there.

The early departure of the teams is to allow for gelling as well as for the home based players to get accustomed to the indoor court.

The cost of the trip was not disclosed, but corporate support is known to have come from LIME, the National Lotteries Authority, CWSA and Pulse Sports Ware in Trinidad and Tobago and other anonymous contributors.