Bulldogs Squad Named, Urged To Better Previous Finish

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The Antigua and Barbuda Basketball Association (ABBA) has named a 12-member senior national team to contest the FIBA 2021 Men’s Pre Qualifier Tournament slated for Suriname.
Veterans Lennox “Termite” McCoy, Bryan “Hollywood” Matthew and Mario “Axel” Davis headline the selection of what is a team seemingly balanced with youth and experience.
Xavier Meade, Kareem Edwards, Adonis Humphreys, Kwame Brathwaite, Cohen DeSouza, Clinton Joshua (overseas-based), Vivian “Boast” Destin, Selassie Brathwaite and Ernest Scott (overseas-based) are all in the 12-member line-up. Kenroy Telemaque is the 13th man.
U.S.A.-based, John Spezia, will lead the team’s coaching staff. He will be assisted by another U.S.-based coach, Jay Harrington, and local coach Cedric “Super” David.
Spezia, during a press conference on Monday, said he anticipates a tough tournament but believes the team is well equipped to handle the pressure.
“There may be a mark on our backs and that’s ok because we’ve been in that position before. I guess there is a little pressure but I think we can and we’ll take care of it because we’re professionals. We’ve been doing it for over 40 years and that’s why we’re here to help you to achieve that goal,” he said.
Minister of Sports and former president of the basketball association, Daryll Matthew, reminded the players of their obligation, not only as members of the team but as ambassadors for Antigua and Barbuda.
“Not every player wants to represent their country and there are some players who want to represent their country for the wrong reasons and so I trust that all of you here have Antigua and Barbuda at heart,” he said.
“People are going to judge this country based on how you behave when you travel. I can’t say I have ever had a bad experience with anyone sitting around the table here and so I don’t expect it to start now but just rest assured that all of Antigua and Barbuda is watching, praying and hoping for the best from you and that you have our full support,” the minister added. 
According to Matthew however, the squad is well-Continued on page 23
Bulldogs from page 24
proportioned and should seek to better their third place finish at the last tournament held in 2016.
 “I am sure that between the experience we have in the coaching staff and our technical staff, physiotherapist included, and the players that are going to be representing Antigua and Barbuda as you leave for Suriname, I think we have easily, one of the best teams in the competition. We are currently the highest ranked FIBA team that will be playing in Suriname over the next couple of weeks and so we are going into the tournament with a target on our backs,” he said.
“We placed third in the last championships and the expectation is certainly, that we will come home with, at least, a medal and certainly a top 2 finish is what we desire,” he added. 
The Bulldogs, as the senior team is affectionately known, will compete against Barbados, Bermuda, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Montserrat, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & the Grenadines and host country Suriname.
The team was slated to leave for Suriname on Monday.

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