The Antigua & Barbuda Bulldogs suffered a heavy loss in their opening Group A match of the 2016 Centrobasket senior men’s basketball tournament, going down 103-48 to hosts Panama.
The Bulldogs trailed all through the contest. Panama led 23-9 after the first quarter, 48-18 at half-time and 80-32 at the end of the third before going on to win by 55 points.
President of the Antigua & Barbuda Basketball Association Daryll Matthew said that even though they were outplayed by a better team, the Bulldogs’ performance should have been better.
“There’s no two ways about that, definitely outplayed and Panama is one of these teams that I think is definitely going to be in the semi-finals. The guys started very flat and Panama was on home court, so it’s just a bunch of things and at the end of the day I think we are a better team than 48 points,” he said.
Joel McIntosh led the scoring for Antigua & Barbuda with 11 points, while Tony Bishop Jr was the leading scorer for Panama with 17 points.
According to Matthew, however, the defeated team seemed focused only on the condition of one player, Jerome Richardson, who had to be taken to the hospital following a game time incident on Sunday.
“Even on the bus back (to the hotel) last night (Sunday) I think everyone was more concerned about Jerome (Richardson), one of our players who got a very hard foul and had to be taken to the hospital,” Matthew said. “The prognosis is that he has bruised ribs. He went up for a dunk and got hacked in air, pretty much, so I think there was more concern about his welfare after the game than moping and drooping.”
He added: “The team realised they were a better team than we are and they played better than us. They obviously were fully acclimatized, while we were still adjusting to the conditions.”
The Bulldogs were slated to take on Nicaragua in their second match.