We must have realistic expectations: George focussed on small improvements coming out of FIBA Qualifiers

Members of the Antigua and Barbuda senior men’s national basketball team in Nicaragua
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By Neto Baptiste

Coach of the Antigua and Barbuda senior national basketball team, George Hughes, is focussing on the positives coming out of the recently held FIBA AmeriCup Pre Qualifiers in Nicaragua where the Wadadli Bulldogs were winless after playing three matches.

Speaking to Observer media for the first time since the team’s return, George urged fans not to be too results oriented but to, instead, look at other areas of growth both as a team and as individual players.

“Results are what they are based on the fact we have not had a programme established for any long time. [There] a few things and different methods we have identified that we really can say we won in terms of the way we competed. I think we led the tournament in rebounding and those are some of the things we can actually build upon,” he said. 

Antigua and Barbuda suffered a 97-53 to Cuba, were beaten 79-71 by hosts Nicaragua, and 63-54 by the US Virgin Islands.

George also highlighted to the young age of the team, pointing to inexperience as a major factor.

“We must have realistic expectations in development. When we have a team averaging age 23, we can’t expect that the first ever go-around for eight players at that level for us to beat the likes of Cuba, US Virgin Islands and Nicaragua, which was the host country who eventually won the tournament,” the coach said.

The tournament was held at the end of June.

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