Jamaica Gleaner
Published: Monday | July 6, 2009
Home : Sport
Jamaica capture fourth Caribbean crown


ROAD TOWN, Tortola (CMC):

Jamaica are the Caribbean champions for the fourth time, after they repelled the challenge of hosts British Virgin Islands 65-61 in a tense final on Saturday.

This followed a day of play-off activity in which Cuba finished third when they stopped Trinidad and Tobago 91-77, The Bahamas ended in fifth position after prevailing over Barbados 94-87, and Antigua and Barbuda claimed seventh with a 73-45 victory over Bermuda.

Jamaica, the BVI, and Cuba have all qualified for the COCABA Tournament in August at a place to be determined. In the closing stages of the game, things got very close, and Oritseweyinmi Efejuku, Samardo Samuels, and Kimani Ffriend were key players in the offence to keep Jamaica in the lead.

Two free throws from Efejuku with six seconds left gave Jamaica a four-point lead to secure the win.

In the first quarter, Jamaica used their strength in the paint and took advantage of the bad start by the hosts to dominate 20-10.

The Jamaicans kept a double-digit lead for most of the second quarter, and at halftime, they had extended their lead, and were ahead 37-21.

The BVI started a huge comeback in the third period, and stayed in the game during the second half by winning the third quarter 19-12 to tighten things at 40-49.

But the Jamaicans had more options down the stretch, and were able to pull away from their opponents to take the championship.

Samuels led for the Jamaicans with 17 points, Efejuku scored 16, and Kimani Ffriend got 11 with 10 rebounds.

In a losing effort, Kennedy Bass led all scorers with 19 points and Halstead Charles Chiverton got 12.

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