Division One clubs cash in on CBA offer

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The loan arrangement between the Antigua and Barbuda Basketball Association (ABBA) and the USA based Central Basketball Association (CBA) programme has surpassed expectations thus far with six of eight available players having already been picked up by local teams. This is according to ABBA President Daryll Matthew, who said Division One newcomers Potters Stealers, F&G Trading Cuties Ovals Ojays and Flyers have all signed two of the eight players that were made available to the basketball association.
“Low and behold, of the eight players, six of them have already been picked up by clubs, where three teams took the opportunity to take two players each. I am quite excited about it and very surprised as well because we didn’t anticipate all the players going, but it appears that at this point in time that even before the players get here on Saturday that all the players will be gone,” he said. The basketball association, in November of last year, announced a partnership with the CBA that would allow Division One teams to acquire players looking to hone their skills in hopes of turning pro.
The eight players were due to arrive in Antigua on Saturday, at which time, a number of exhibition matches were planned in hopes of giving Division One teams an opportunity to see the players. Matthew explained what would happen with the two unchosen players. “If the additional two players are not picked up by the time the season starts, then they are going to go back, they are not going to stay. If a team decides, at some point in time, that they want to take advantage of [having] one of two of these players, then that is something we can discuss with the CBA to see how we could get them back here,” he said. “If these two players get picked up now and a team, later down in the season, decides that they want a CBA player, I don’t think that’s something we can facilitate,” the basketball boss added.
The domestic programme is slated to tip off this month and Matthew said plans are in an advanced stage. “I am currently preparing the fixtures now, but we normally don’t send out the fixtures too far in advance, simply because we want to try and put good match-ups on strategic days. So, once the registration is complete by the teams, and we look at the rosters and see which teams look like they can make a strong run, then we may need to tweak a game here or put a game there to capitalise on our prime time,” he said. Division One is slated to shoot off on 21 January at the JSC complex.

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