Guyana thrash Jamaica (73 – 56) to setup Semi-final showdown with Barbados tonight (July 8)
After watching Suriname dust Trinidad and Tobago (72 – 56), Guyana not only had to win, but win by scoring 70 or more points if they want to be in the CBC U16’s final four.
With a vociferous crowd behind them, Guyana hammered Jamaica at both ends of the floor to earn a 16-points win (73 – 57) in the final preliminary game of the Caribbean Basketball Confederation (CBC) male under-16 championships that continued on Thursday at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall.
The win meant that Guyana finished on top of their group and will now face Barbados in the semi-finals while Jamaica will play the Bahamas tonight.
The top three teams, both men and women, earn berths to the Centro Basket U17 Championship where they compete for spots in the FIBA Americas U18 Cup, from which they can qualify for the FIBA U19 World Cup or the Youth Olympics.
Despite a fourth quarter show by Jamaican star Jalen Menzies, Guyana’s defence was always on point throughout the game and held off the Jamaicans while notching their third win in the preliminary round along with a place in the final four.
It was a definitely a clutch performance by the Guyanese squad who will now have a chance to make the final which is scheduled for Saturday as they handed Jamaica their only loss of the preliminary round.
Jordan Alphonso bullied his way in the post for a stellar double-double performance of 22 points and 12 rebounds while Kevon Wiggins shot 16 points. Shamar France also played well for 13 points while Akeem Crandon dominated the offensive glass for 10 points and 22 rebounds.
Menzies scored 12 of his 25 points in the final quarter while Samora Williams recorded a double-double of 17 points and 17 rebounds.
Guyana started with a brilliant 2-3 zone defence that held Jamaica to just six points in the first six minutes of the game, Coach Lugard Mohan’s men displayed brilliant offensive movement with France looking like a star with a step back three before nailing a mid-range buzzer beater to end the first quarter with the home team up 16-11.
Alphonso played great individual defence as well finishing with two blocks in the opening period; one being a nasty chase down block that sent the ball out of bounds.
Guyana’s defence continued to shutdown Jamaica’s star players Menzies and Williams in the second period while Crandon was an offensive glass eater that helped Guyana use a 10-0 run to extend their lead to 33-19 to finish the first half up by 14 points.
In the third, Guyana controlled the tempo and ran the ball for a few easy buckets, however, it was their defence that continued to be the key as they were able to extend their lead to 19 points.
The Cliff Anderson Sports is expected to be ‘rocking’ tonight (July 8), as the ten-team tournament gears for an exciting climax.