Wednesday 22th August, 2007

 

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The T&T senior women's basketballers who won the silver medals at the 19th CBC finals in Morovis, Puerto Rico on Tuesday night.
Back from left back :- Annete O'Brien (Manager), Trevor McLeod (assistant coach), Patrice Edwards, Natalier Peters, Chezelle Griffith, Ayanna Philip, Pietra gay (captain) and head coach Christopher Jackson Charles with trophy, Alicia Liverpool and assistant coach Erica Downes- Plouden.
Midde-row - Mahalia Simpson, Sahvohn Osbourne, Ahnola Charles.
Front - Fanta Patterson, Rhea Codio and Trecha Jackson.
PHOTOS: KEITH CLEMENT

BY KEITH CLEMENT

THE T&T women’s team which won the silver medals at the 19th Caribbean Basketball Confederation (CBC) Championship in Puerto Rico last week have continued the rich tradition of success by T&T in regional basketball.

The ladies put up a determined fight but fell to host Puerto Rico 43-67 at the Jose Huyke Coliseum in Morovis, Puerto Rico.

Significant was the fact that the T&T women qualified for their first Centro basket tournament in the event’s 11-year history. It was the first CBC final appearance for either men or women’s teams from this twin island republic for 17 years.

The last time T&T was featured in a final was in 1990 when the tournament was hosted here, under the Caricom Regional Basbetball Championship banner.

T&T won both men and women’s titles.

After that, T&T women won bronze medals in 2000 in Barbados under coach Jamal Duke. They were sixth in Cuba in 2004 under present coach Christopher Jackson Charles and missed the 2006 tournament in Jamaica.

However, the team made T&T proud after disappointing performances by the senior and junior men’s teams who also competed in two different CBC and Fiba Americas competitions respectively, also in Puerto Rico.

The achievement of the women was like ‘CPR’ on a sport that was desperate for some sort of achievement to keep it alive. It was nothing but a second lease on life for local basketball.

T&T got the perfect start when despite the chants of over 1,500 fans Puerto Rican fans who were chanting and waving flags, centre Patrice Edwards scored the first basket, followed by back-to-back baskets from shooting guard Mahalia Simpson who connected on her two 12-foot jump-shots as the first half ended a an even contest 22-22.

In the second quarter T&T fell behind 37-31 and after three sessons T&T fell deeper into trouble 36-56 and never recovered.

Team captain Pietra Gay, who plays professionally for City of Ponce in Puerto Rico, made every effort to rally her team, but Puerto Ricans dominated all departments to deny the English speaking Caribbean representaive team its fifth title in the event history.

T&T women were regional champions in 1985, 86, 87 and 1990.

T&T honourary Consul in Puerto Rico Steve Jaipersad, centre, with national flag, supports the T&T men's team against Puerto Rico at the 2007 CBC championships. He's acompanied by national women's coach Christopher Jackson Charles, right and a friend.

 

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