Bulldogs advance to semis

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The Antigua and Barbuda men’s senior basketball team, the Bulldogs, advanced to the semi-finals of the ongoing FIBA AmeriCup 2021 Caribbean Pre-Qualifiers on Tuesday after handing Barbados a 62-55 defeat in their Group B encounter to remain undefeated.
The Bulldogs who needed just one win to advance, rose to the occasion showing true fight despite an 18-point effort by Andre Lockhart and a 13-point effort by Keefe Birkett for Barbados.
Finding themselves down by nine points in the third quarter, the Bulldogs rallied with a mixture of experience and youth to secure the much-needed and well-deserved win.
Vivian “Boast” Destin was the leading scorer for Team Wadadli with 15 points, seven rebounds and four steals.
He was assisted by Barbudan player, Cohen DeSouza, who sank 10 points.
Captain of the Bulldogs, Bryan “Hollywood” Matthew, when speaking on the Good Morning JoJo show this morning says he was not surprised by the team’s performance thus far.
“I’m not surprised…we came here with a plan and we expect to be 3-0 because of the execution, not excluding a few mistakes.”
Matthew, who made his return to the national set-up, commended the coaching staff on making a key adjustment in the third, mixing both experience and youth which he says were the factors in them winning the match.
The veteran also says that he has welcomed the leadership role he plays in the squad.
“You know it’s a great feeling to see the young bloods as we call them look up to me off and on the court, you know, asking for my input on certain things and that has really made me comfortable and feel a part of the team.”
Assistant Coach of the Bulldogs, Jay Harrington, echoed the words spoken by Matthew regarding the performance of the team thus far.
“I am not surprised, we knew when we got the whole team together we would be very good. I am so excited after that great comeback by the team and I think we have been the best team defensively in the tournament.”
The overseas-based coach brushed  off concerns about the shooting consistency of the team.
“I’m not worried about the shooting. It goes with the fact of playing three games in three nights but again I think defense is going to win this tournament and that seems to be the case. I’m just proud to be a member of the Bulldogs squad and I am proud of the guys for playing team basketball.
         The Bulldogs will play their final Group B match later this week and will wait to face either Suriname or Guyana in their semi-finals bout on Friday.
          Only the top two overall finishers will advance to the next round.

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