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Barbados may miss basketball tourney

Justin Marville

Barbados may miss basketball tourney

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The Bahamas seems capable of hosting a regional championship after all.
Whether Barbados is able to go is another matter.
The former two-time regional basketball champs could be in danger of missing their first ever senior Caribbean Basketball Championships (CBC) after it was revealed it will cost $90 000 to send both teams.
Barbados Amateur Basketball Association president Derrick Garrett disclosed the figure a week after learning of the tournament’s host site.
“At this present moment based on our current finances we wouldn’t be able to do so,” said Garrett of Barbados’ ability to attend the championships.
“We’re hoping that we can gain both the assistance of the BOA and the National Sports Council plus we will embark on fund-raising activities to try to cover the cost.
“In the absence of not raising the funds, which are estimated at $90 000, then the likelihood exists that we will not be able to go.”
Last week, Caribbean Basketball Confederation secretary general Sabrina Mitchell confirmed The Bahamas as the host of both the men’s and women’s championships, which are slated for July 25 to August 5.
This after The Bahamas had already pulled out of staging the CARIFTA Games earlier this year despite confirming their position to hold the regional track and field meet since last year.
But CBC vice-president of technical operations, Glyne Clarke, seems assured of The Bahamas’ commitment after speaking to both the president of The Bahamas Basketball Federation and the country’s minister of sports last month.
“I would say I am 90 to 95 per cent certain that they will host the championships,” stated Clarke.
“Things can always happen to throw a spanner in the works but I am fairly confident that Bahamas will bring it off.”
But there’s no such certainty surrounding Barbados’ attendance, or the identity of the coaches if they do.
Garrett revealed that his executive was currently open to receiving applications for both posts, even though the council was not openly against returning women’s national coach Barry Rock and his men’s counterpart Adrian Craigwell.
“Part of our mandate is that we are not selecting coaches for tours,” said Garrett, who hinted as such in his address at the opening ceremony.
“We’re looking for a comprehensive review of our programme that will see us having  continuous national training instead of having us assemble a team three weeks before a tournament.”
If Craigwell is not returned it will be the fourth time in as many tours that basketball has changed its men’s national head coach since Nigel Lloyd’s successful stint at the 2006 Commonwealth Games.
Since then, the perennial title contenders have stumbled to a fifth and two successive sixth-placed finishes at the 2006, 2007 and 2009 regional men’s tournaments.
“We cannot expect success when we assemble a team three to four months before a competition,” said Garrett.
“[But] it is imperative that Barbados participates in the Caribbean Championships to be eligible to move forward in the four-year cycle.”
Garrett’s executive has until April 18 to pay a non-refundable US$1 010 per team to the Caribbean Basketball Confederation to confirm its participation in the tournament.
The BABA reported a debt of just over $30 000 at its last annual general meeting on February 5, where Garrett was elected president.