Antigua & Barbuda lose CBC opener

Antigua & Barbuda lost their opening match in the 2014 CBC Championship by 26 points on Monday when they were hammered 82-56 by Cuba in Group A of the basketball competition.

The defeat came despite a spirited performance by overseas-based Ernest Nathaniel Scott III who had 17 points and 10 rebounds. Scott III received welcomed assistance from Jerome Richardson and Stedroy Sergeant who had 17 and 10 points respectively.

One executive member, currently in Cuba, Gemma Hazelwood, said the team will have to make adjustments going forward following a “tough” match.

“Cuba is a very tough and physical team, one of the more physical teams in the competition and they are one of the teams that will probably be in the finals, but there are adjustments we need to make. Up to half-time we were still in the game and some of the third we were in the competition as well but from there they got the upper hand and we were just never able to catch them,” he said.

Yoan Luis Haiti dominated play for Cubans with 20 points and 15 rebounds. There were also contributions from William Granda Lewis who had 15 points and Osmel Olivia Garcia with 14 points.

The loss, according to Hazelwood, is not a death sentence for the Antiguan team.

“In 2004 we lost our first game by 50 and still placed third in the competition, so losing your first game does not take you out of the competition. We lost by about 25 points (Monday) but the team is still pretty confident because we are aware of who we were playing (Monday) and like I said, we held our own for a good portion of the game,” he said.

Also on Monday, hosts British Virgin Islands captured their first victory of the Championships with a 99-63 triumph over Guyana.