In their first test towards international basketball relevance, the Bahamians are proving that they have a rising program that can test the world’s best.
In a wire-to-wire finish, The Bahamas obliterated Cuba, 109-68, to open up their FIBA Olympic Pre-Qualifying Tournament campaign in a dominating fashion on Monday, Aug. 15.
Phoenix Suns star big man Deandre Ayton was an invincible force at front, feasting with a massive 22-point, 10-rebound explosion for The Bahamas. Meanwhile, Indiana Pacers sharpshooter Buddy Hield had a game-high 24 markers.
Veteran Eric Gordon churned 17 points to go with four assists, as the NBA trio combined for 63 that almost matched the entire collective scoring output of the helpless Cuban squad.
Franco Miller contributed his 18 markers and five boards.
With his towering frame and surprisingly explosive demeanor, Ayton impressed Team Bahamas. He flushed plenty of rim-wrecking dunks including a baseline jam upon driving from the three-point line.
Gordon, Hield, and Miller were laser-focused from deep, connecting four three-pointers each to give the Bahamians a further overwhelming offensive edge.
In total, The Bahamas churned a highly efficient 57 percent shooting (41-of-72 field goals). On the other hand, they also terrorized Cuba forcing them to have 18 turnovers courtesy of 10 snatches.
Karel Guzman chipped in 16 points, four boards and three assists on a losing effort for Cuba, while Pedro Bombino handed 14.
An astounding effort for the Bahamians to carve that initial impression on a high note, but they are about to collide against a much more formidable and tournament-host Argentinian team on Thursday to conclude the group phase of the event.
A potential win against Argentina would allow the Bahamas to secure a semifinal ticket to the tourney and be steps closer to becoming a participant in the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournaments next year.
- A three-pointer from Alejandro Vergara with nearly a minute left pulls Chile away to a 62-61 stunner against U.S. Virgin Islands in a close bout to open up the Group B of this year’s Pre-Olympic Qualifiers in Argentina. Nicolas Carvacho led his fellow Chileans to a game-high 23-point outing in an efficient 10-of-13 shooting mark.
- In courtesy of Joaquin Rodriguez’s 19, Uruguay slammed Colombia via a 15-point rout, 80-65, to take the convincing bout for another Group B set.