T&T senior women's basketballers who won the silver
medals at the 19th CBC finals in Morovis, Puerto Rico on
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
THE T&T womens 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
Significant was the fact that the T&T women qualified
for their first Centro basket tournament in the events
11-year history. It was the first CBC final appearance for
either men or womens 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 womens 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 mens 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
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
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.