Tuesday, August 14, 2018
Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Bahamas edge champs to reach CAZOVA final

PARIMARIBO, Suriname, August 14 – New champions will be crowned tonight after Bahamas eliminated Trinidad and Tobago 26-24, 22-25, 22-25, 25-20, 15-12 this morning to advance to the final of the Men’s CAZOVA (Caribbean Zonal Volleyball Association) Championships here at the Ismay Van Wilgen Sporthal.

The 2012 champions will come up against Suriname for the title right after Barbados and T&T square of for the bronze medal at 6 p.m.

T&T, winners of the last two and three of the last four editions of the tournament, seemed poised to make their fifth consecutive final when they went up two sets to one.

But they began the fourth set with a series or unforced errors and although Bahamas reciprocated late in the set, their lead was too significant (19-11) and they managed to do enough to force the decider.

Bahamas only trailed once (6-5) in the fifth and eventually crossed the finish line in 113 minutes.

Playing by far his best indoor game, T&T’s leading beach volleyballer Daneil Williams was the game’s leading scorer with 22 points, three more than Bahamas captain Princtanique Wilson.

Wilson stated that the victory was pay back for what transpired eight years ago when T&T beat them in the semifinals and went on to capture their first title.

He admitted that “we are tired” and said “we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it” when asked if they will be able to recover in time for the final.

Suriname reached the title match with a straight-set victory over Barbados last night and playing in front their home fans is another advantage that they have in their quest to strike gold for the first time.

However the scenario had been the same when the met in the round-robin stage and Suriname had barely got home in the longest match of the tournament (2 ½ hours) on Sunday night.

Both Suriname and Bahamas were triumphant in three of their four matches in the first stage, but Suriname won ten of their 14 sets to finish on top, while Bahamas won 11 sets and lost six.

The Bahamas/T&T match was actually supposed to be the first of the tournament, but was switched to the last of the round-robin stage after both teams suffered lengthy flight delays.

And it eventually became a “virtual” semifinal, just like the Barbados/Suriname affair.

Sean Morrison, who was attempting to win his second straight title as coach of T&T after playing on their triumphant 2012 and ’12 teams, stated that his team made too many mistakes, especially “spiking errors in the fifth set.” But hats off to Bahamas, they were more consistent than us.”

Nothing less than gold would have satisfied him, but captain Ryan Stewart pointed out that “we still have a medal to play for.”

And it is more than a bronze-medal match as ten-time champs Barbados stunned T&T in five sets Sunday night in the round-robin stage.

When asked if his team will be ready for the final, veteran Bahamas coach Lloyd Davis said: “We are Bahamas, we never say dead, not die.”




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