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T&T’s volleyball matches changed due to flight delay
T&T will face with the difficult task of playing two matches in one day, tomorrow at the Ninth Caribbean Zonal Volleyball Association (CAZOVA) Junior (Under-21) Men’s Championship at the Paul Chonchon Sports and Cultural Centre, Point-a-Pitre, Guadeloupe. In the first match, T&T bronze medal winners, both in 2009 and 2011 will do battle with 2001 and 2003 silver medal winner Bahamas before taking on host and 2011 runner-up Guadeloupe at 6 pm in Pool B to complete Pool B round-robin play.
This follows a decision by the tournament committee after some of teams, mainly Bahamas and T&T were affected by flights delay. The Bahamian team was eventually able to get to Guadeloupe via Dutch St Maarten and French St Martin, while T&T has six players stranded in Barbados since Monday afternoon along with Dixon awaiting their LIAT flight. Word is that with the influx of people to Barbados for Crop Over Festival and the soon to start Caribbean Premier League T20 Tournament on the weekend, travelling in and out of Bridgetown has been difficult.
The T&T players already in Guadeloupe are Varendra Basdeo, Derice Biggart, Brandon Deonath, Stephen Gloud, Emmanuel Rassool and Maalik Springle along with coach David Camacho, manager Cherryl-Anne Blackman as well as team physiotherapist Daryl Davis. On the other hand, the players still stranded in Barbados and were hopeful of arriving last night included team captain Newton Grant, Ceon Lucas, Triston Martinez, Brandon Mootoo, Marlon Phillip and Nicholas Prescott along with assistant coach Danwantee Deonath-Ramadhin.
At the technical meeting after deliberating between officials of the T&T, Bahamas and Guadeloupe teams as well as members of the control committee it was decided that there will only be one match on the opening day between defending champions Curacao and two-time champions Barbados (1997 & 2005) from 6 pm last night. Today, Curacao will play its second and final round-robin match in Pool A versus US Virgin Islands from 4pm followed by Guadeloupe against Bahamas two hours later in the opening match of Pool B. Tomorrow, Bahamas tackles T&T at 10 am in Pool B followed by Barbados and USVI in Pool A, then Guadeloupe and T&T in Pool B at 6 pm.
Speaking yesterday, T&T’s Camacho said the change in schedule is both a good and bad one for his team. “It will give us an extra day to train together, but at the same time we are still missing most of the team, so we are hoping they get into the country by this afternoon (yesterday). He added, “The downside to this is that we will have to play two matches on one day with Bahamas in the morning on Thursday and then Guadeloupe in the afternoon. “For any team this will be a difficult task and for us it will be no exception. The toughest think is to try and keep the guys focus on the task at hand and with all the problems with our travels.”
The tournament features six teams placed in two groups at the end of which the group winners will advance straight to the semifinals. The second and third placed teams will then meet in cross-over quarterfinals with the winners going to the semifinals to face the group winners while the losers will play for fifth and sixth on Sunday’s final day of competition. The tournament winner will qualify to the NORCECA Under-21 Continental Championship to be played in USA next year.
Pool A: Curacao, Barbados, US Virgin Islands
Pool B: Guadeloupe, T&T, Bahamas
Revised Tournament schedule
Yesterday (July 23): Curacao vs Barbados, 6.30 pm
Today (July 24): Curacao vs USVI, 4 pm
Tomorrow (July 25): Barbados vs US Virgin Islands, 4 pm
Today (July 24): Guadeloupe vs Bahamas, 6 pm
Tomorrow (July 25): Bahamas vs T&T, 10 am; Guadeloupe vs T&T, 6 pm
Group A runner-up vs Group B third place, 4 pm
Group B runner-up vs Group A third place, 6 pm
Fifth to Sixth Classification:
Loser Group A runner-up/ Group B third place vs Loser Group B runner-up/Group A third place, 2 pm
Group B winner vs Group A runner-up vs Group B third place, 4 pm
Group A winner vs Group B runner-up vs Group A third place, 6 pm
Third place, 3 pm
Final, 5 pm
Past Junior (Under-21) CAZOVA Men’s Championship podium finishers
Host Country Year Gold Silver Bronze
Barbados 1997 Barbados Jamaica St Lucia
Jamaica 1999 Martinique Barbados Jamaica
Suriname 2001 Netherlands Antilles Bahamas Martinique
Martinique 2003 Netherlands Antilles Bahamas Martinique
Aruba 2005 Barbados Aruba Guadeloupe
US Virgin Islands 2007 Netherlands Antilles Guadeloupe Barbados
Guadeloupe 2009 French Guyana Martinique T&T
Jamaica 2011/2012 Curacao Guadeloupe T&T