Tough ask for U-16s
By Justin Marville | Sat, August 04, 2012 - 12:03 AM
There's just no escaping it; Barbados are set for a rough reintroduction to junior basketball.
Seven years after last contesting a regional tourney, the ultramarine and gold girls’ and boys’ teams will have a tough task of just advancing past the opening rounds of the Centrobasket Under-16 Tournament after being both drawn with Caribbean powerhouses Puerto Rico.
The draws for both genders were released earlier this week on fibaamericas.com website after the tournament organizers were able to confirm the final eight-team fields.
Along with regional giants Puerto Rico, the Bajan lasses have been drawn with Cayman Islands and Guatemala in Group A for the August 15 to 19 tournament in Mexico.
The junior boys, who are slated to play one week later in El Salvador, have also been pitted in Group A against Costa Rica and Guatemala.
Both ten-man rosters are expected to be finalized by next week after the two training squads spent the last month preparing at the National Sports Council’s summer camp.
This month’s tour to the Centrobasket Tournaments ends a seven-year drought at regional junior competitions for Barbados, who last took part in the 2005 Caribbean Basketball Championships, where a star-studded boys’ side finished a disappointing seventh.
And the Barbados Amateur Basketball Association was committed to sending two teams to this year’s Caribbean youth tourney before the championships were scrapped due to a lack of interest.
As a result, Barbados were allotted a spot at the Centrobasket Tournament for the first time in about two decades.
Hosts Mexico, El Salvador, Bahamas and Costa Rica round out the girls’ field, while the home country, El Salvador, Mexico, Cayman Islands and The Bahamas are slated to contest Group B of the boys’ event.
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