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Lloyd still rues loss to BVI

Justin Marville in Tortola

Lloyd still rues loss to BVI

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Four days later and Nigel Lloyd has yet to let go.
He may never either.
Barbados’ coach still wonders what might’ve been, after rueing that missed opportunity against hosts British Virgin Islands which would’ve probably seen his team into the medal round at these Caribbean Basketball Confederation (CBC) Championships.
Lloyd made his feelings known after watching Barbados’ epic 32-10 rally fall just short in a heart-breaking 81-77 defeat to the home team, only to see the BVI get crushed by double digits in every game since.
“Oh man it’s been terrible to know how close we were, and after watching Thursday’s match [against USVI] and the way they were dismantled it just hurts so much,” said Lloyd.
“Also the USVI coach spoke to us and said he thought we were the most organised team. Then Antigua beat Bahamas by 24, and yet they’re [Bahamas] in the final, and we beat Antigua so it shows that one game really cost us.”
It truly has been a tough loss to deal with, and not just for Lloyd, as each member of the touring team has similarly rued losing to a lesser organised team in a game that proved the difference between battling in the semi-finals and playing in the consolation rounds.
The manner of defeat didn’t help matters either, with the Bajans heroically rallying all the way back from a 56-36 third-quarter hole to take a 68-66 lead, only to run out of gas in the end.
“I mean the first half was probably the worst basketball we ever played, and then the second half was the best, but we just could not get over the hump,” Lloyd said.
“I like the performance though. It’s been baby steps but I am bitterly disappointed not to be in the medal round. however, we are going forward and we’re executing our plays so I am liking it.
‘I’m definitely seeing development because we had to get used to each other. I thought the first half against BVI was the team trying to find their rhythm, then the second half was them saying I’m going to do what you ask me and then see what happens after that. Since we started playing that way we look so much better, and they’re playing so unselfish and much better basketball,” he added.
Lloyd’s words seem justified considering the Bajans have since coasted to double-digit wins over two very talented teams in Guyana and Antigua.
But for Lloyd, the run doesn’t end here, even as he prepares to return to Britain this week, as the overseas-based coach intends to lead the national programme as long as he is allowed to.
“I’m holding on for the long term, but I was last time too, so hopefully once things are running the way things are supposed to and everyone is happy with the way things are going then I am kept around for the long term,” said Lloyd in clear reference to his unexpected sacking in 2006.
 “[Assistant coaches] Derek [Browne] and Zahir [Motara] know exactly what I am doing so they will be good in my absence. But I am going to be available for any other things that we have going on and I will try to make sure that I can come back for anything they need of me because I like the way we are going and I don’t want it to stop or stagnate.”
• This on-the-spot report from the NATION’s basketball correspondent Justin Marville is in association with Co-operators General Insurance Co. Ltd.