T&T’s Pietra Gay netted a team-high 18 points but it was not enough to give the national women’s basketball team a chance to match its best finish in recent times, at the FIBA Americas Centrobasket Championships. The local side, after leading for much of the match, lost to Jamaica, 65-60, in their play-off for 5-8 semifinal match in Morovis, Puerto Rico, yesterday. At the previous edition of the championship, which was played at the same venue in 2008, T&T finished fifth. T&T, which was coached by Puerto Rican Ivan Flores, will now have to play for seventh and eighth spots against the loser of the other semifinal (places 5-8) between US Virgin Islands (USVI) and El Salvador today.
Gay, along with point guard Rhea Codio (9 points), Adanna David (11 rebounds) and Miriam Seale (9 points and 9 rebounds) had T&T in control for the first three quarters. T&T led 15-7 in the opening session but was outscored in the second period, 21-17 to lead by 32-28 at halftime. The third quarter was even with both teams scoring 15, allowing T&T to hold on to its four-point advantage, heading to the final period. The fourth quarter leaned in favour of the Jamaicans, who went on to outscore T&T again, this time 22-13. T&T failed to score a point in the final two minutes and 55 seconds, eventually succumbing to the five-point loss.
Again like the preliminary round, T&T was guilty of more turnovers than Jamaica 19-6, which was due to the “Sunshine Girls” stealing the ball 14 times. Overall T&T had four steals.
T&T now advance to play the winner between US Virgin Islands (USVI), which placed third in group B and El Salvador. Salvadorians placed fourth in the other group. On Thursday night, Dominican Republic (2-1), the second in the Group B, defeated T&T (0-3), 77-50 to eliminate any chance of the national women’s team progressing to the 2013 FIBA-Americas Championship (World Qualifier) as only the top four teams qualify. With the win, the Dominican team advances to the semifinals to be played on Friday. After a tie at four points, Dominican Republic took control with three points by Sugeiry Monsac, 7-4, with 5:21 remaining of the first quarter. Charlenny Frias completed 11-2 run at the end of the quarter to increase the score 18-8. The first half ended 27-19 for the Dominican team.
The Trinbagonians had a total 28 turnovers, Dominican Republic, which took advantage to score 27 points and the defence, made 17 steals. T&T were led by Adanna David with 13 points. Carmen Guzman and Andreina Paniagua led Dominican Republic with 13 points each one and Frias added 11 points. Cuban women’s basketball team (3-0) had no trouble with US Virgin Island (1-2) on Thursday and advanced unbeaten to the semifinal. Cuba, which won 73-58, will play the semifinal versus Mexico while the other semifinal will see Puerto Rico against Dominican Republic.