Barbados stun Bahamas in enthralling World Championship qualifier final
Princ Tanique Wilson led as usual for the Bahamas with a match-high 22 points and he had assistance from Byron Ferguson with 10. Barbados’ attack was more widely spread. Fabian Cox had 16 points, Shawn Simpson and 15 and Jabarry Goodridge and Jamaal Nedd contributed 11 and 10 respectively.
After losing in straight sets in the preliminaries it was like sweet revenge for Barbados and Ludger Niles, the coach of the Barbados team, could not hide his elation at accomplishing the feat.
"First let me congratulate Bahamas for playing a very entertaining game. As I told you at the onset of the tournament the team that was freshest and fittest in the finals stood a very good chance at winning. After losing the second set we decided that our main focus would be to serve well and play gritty defense. It is important to note the fact that Bahamas played a five-setter earlier today and that played into our hands," he beamed.
Coach Raymond Wilson of Bahamas was gracious in defeat."I believe we came across a team that was more prepared, more focused than us. Added to that, they committed fewer errors and at this level that's a huge factor. The five-setter this morning probably resulted in our sluggish start but Barbados seemed to be more hungry, and had the perfect ingredients for victory," he conceded.
Earlier, Nicaragua ensured that they did not return home empty handed when they took care of St. Martin in straight sets (25-21, 25-17, 25 -21) while playing in the third place playoff game.
Tito Valdivia’s 13 points and Jonathan Tuckler’s 12 points carried the brunt of the attack for the Central Americans while Rotilio Richardson with 15 points (13 spikes and 2 blocks) was all alone fighting a losing battle for St. Martin.
In the morning matches of Sunday Barbados earned the right to play in the finals when they defeated hosts St. Martin 3-0 (25-22,25-18, 25-20).
Clearly, it was the best effort by St. Martin over three games but it was still not good enough for victory as everything went Barbados' way when it mattered.
Rotilio Richardson was the highest scorer for the game with 18 points in a losing cause. Fabian Cox led all Barbadian scorers with 12 points while Jabarry Goodridge chipped in with 8.
Also, Bahamas was made to put in a workmanlike performance in order to overcome a gritty Nicaraguan team in five sets (19-25, 25-20, 25-19, 19-25, 15-6).
The win maintained a perfect record for Bahamas and secured their place in the finals while Nicaragua was relegated to play for third place.
Princ Tanique Wilson literally carried the attack for team Bahamas with 32 points. He had 28 spikes and 4 service aces. The next best scorer for Bahamas was Byron Ferguson with 10 points. On the losing side Alvarado Martinez contributed 17 points as the team's highest scorer.