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SVG Basketballers off to CBC Championship

SVG Basketballers off to CBC Championship

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After months of preparation and stretching dollars, the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Men’s Basketball team has made it to the 21st Caribbean Basketball Confederation (CBC) Championships in Nassau, Bahamas.{{more}}

The men’s team, complete with twelve players, left the country on Wednesday to compete in the Championships which will run from July 23 to 29. The SVG women’s team will also take part in the championships, with their games slated for August 3 to 7, 2011.

The St. Vincent and the Grenadines Basketball Federation, hosting a press conference on Wednesday, July 20, expressed thanks to several corporate entities, as well as the Ministry of Sports, for making the teams’ participation in the championships a reality.

President of the SVGBF Clephas Glynn stated that registering both teams for the championships has been a challenge.

“One, which up to today has us still striving and trying to achieve more in terms of finances,” he said.

He thanked the National Lotteries Authority for their contribution of $15,000, Karib Cable which gave $3,000 and Courts and Digicel which gave $1,500 each. He further extended gratitude to Scotia Bank which contributed $1,000, Gonsalves Liquors which gave $400 and a resident of Bequia who gave $1,000. He added that they are still in need of finances to facilitate the participation of the women’s team in the championships.

In registering for the games, the teams also will subscribe to penalties attached to the championships pertaining to their attendance at the games. Sabrina Mitchell, Secretary General of the CBC, explained that a team will be required to pay $US5,000 if they withdraw from the championships after registration. US$25,000 is the penalty for failing to show up for a game that a team has been scheduled for.

Mitchell added that SVG is considered an important member of the FIBA family due to their presence at events and meetings. She stated that the participation is a natural progression “that St. Vincent and the Grenadines always strives to do.”

She further stated that it would have been exceedingly embarrassing if the team were in a position to have to withdraw from the championship, as not only the financial penalties are to be considered, but the moral and ethical consequences as well.

“It would have certainly put me in a very embarrassing situation, being in charge of promoting the competition and my very own country could not meet its own commitment,” she stated.

Though stating that the female team may face some fierce competition from the other teams in the championships, Mitchell stated that she is confident that the teams will succeed in the end. Ten teams will take part in the men’s championship. They are Jamaica, Virgin Islands, Antigua, Guyana, Turks and Caicos, which are apart of Group A, and British Virgin Islands, Bermuda, Bahamas, St. Vincent and Cayman Islands in Group B.

The women’s championship will see teams from Bahamas, Cuba, Dominica Republic, St. Vincent and Trinidad and Tobago. Coach of the female team Wayne Williams stated that the team is experiencing financial challenges similar to that of the men’s team and the delegation traveling to Bahamas will have to be reduced as a result.

Manager of the team Karel Bramble also remained confident about the SVG team. “We believe that we have one of the best teams assembled ready to represent St.Vincent and the Grenadines,” he said.

Coach of the men’s team Junior Sutton stated that preparation for the championship was hard work, as the team faced several challenges with transportation and practice times and other difficulties attached with recruiting a national team.

The persons on the men’s team are: Captain Randolph Williams, Glen Smith, Darrien Ottley, Ishana McRee, Leslo McKenzie, Kendal Pinder, Oral Roberts, Gregg Friday, Orlando Ferguson, Ajani Edward, Sean Baptiste and Jevorn Stewart

The team’s first game will take place on Saturday, July 23. Appeals were also made to businesses and the general public to support the national teams financially as they represent the country at the games. Glynn stated the cost of the teams to attend the championship is about $60,000 each.(OS)

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