Barbados drop series
Nigel Lloyd has his work cut out for him.
Barbados’ men’s basketball head coach definitely won’t have an easy time cutting down his final roster, particularly after watching Sunday’s select trial squad to succumb to a series-clinching 79-68 defeat by Guyana at the Wildey Gymnasium.
It was the second loss in as many nights for a home team that is clearly missing big men Akeem Marsh, Kregg Jones and John Jones while getting hammered in the paint once again.
The Bajans didn’t fare well at the offensive end either, failing to crack the 70-point barrier in successive games during a rather up and down warm-up series for the upcoming FIBA AmeriCup 2021 Caribbean Pre-Qualifier in Suriname.
Even Andre Lockhart’s return didn’t help matters any, as the overseas-based pro could only watch as Barbados quickly fell behind 10-2 before trailing by as many as 19 points (67-48).
National hopefuls Deroni Hurley and Kelan Phillips made the most of their minutes though, taking advantage of Lloyd’s decision to rest veterans Jeremy Gill and Keefe Birkett by going a combined six of nine from the floor for 17 points.
The diminutive Hurley was particularly pleasing while draining three straight treys between the third and fourth quarters to energise a home crowd that had little else to cheer for.
Lockhart then got in on the act with successive triples of his own to transform that once daunting 19-point deficit into a more manageable 72-61 margin.
Barbados even got within eight (76-68) at one point after Darren Hunte cleaned up a Jabar Williams miss and then converted a fast-break layup with 41 seconds left.
But it was too little too late, as Ray Victor squashed the threat mere moments later with an “and-one” finish at the other end.
It was a disappointing finish to a contest that promised to be a thriller after Lockhart and Zahir Motara hit back to back three-pointers in a 10-0 run, which helped the hosts rally from that initial 10-2 deficit.
However, Guyana simply responded with three straight treys of their own from Victor, Stanton Rose and Travis Belgrave that reopened a 24-18 cushion.
The lead ballooned to as many as 14 (42-28) in the ensuing second period as Rose poured in another three-pointer, two free throws and a layup in transition prior to Harold Adams’ double-clutch basket.
Barbados did threaten on the other side of the break though, with Phillips scoring a fast-break layup and a pull-up jumper to pull the hosts within seven (47-40) early in the third.
But Rose ended that run too, throwing in yet another trey before Felice Hamilton restored Guyana’s double-digit lead (62-45) with a pair of free throws and a long jumper.
Rose finished with 15 points, Victor had 13 and Hamilton chipped in with 11 while Lockhart led the Bajans with 13 points. (JM)