Wins Group A to advance to semifinals
DEANDRE Ayton and Eric Gordon celebrate a made basket against Argentina in the FIBA World Cup Americas Qualifiers last night. Photos: John Marc-Nutt/10th Year Seniors
PM’s message for Team Bahamas
#By TENAJH SWEETING
#Tribune Sports Reporter
#The Bahamas senior men’s national basketball team continued their winning ways last night, defeating Argentina 101-89 on their home turf to move on to the semifinals of the FIBA Basketball World Cup Americas Qualifiers.
#Team Bahamas advanced following stellar play from Indiana Pacers shooting guard Chavano “Buddy” Hield, Phoenix Suns centre Deandre Ayton, Suns shooting guard/forward Eric Gordon and Travis Munnings in the Group A match.
#The team wrapped up Group A with a 2-0 record in Santiago del Estero, Argentina, following a 41-point drubbing of Cuba in the tournament opener on Monday and last night’s win against the fourth ranked host nation.
#With four of the five starters all scoring at least 20 points by the final buzzer, Team Bahamas handled business against Argentina.
TRAVIS Munnings provided 20 points and four rebounds.
#The national team got out to a sluggish start in the opening period, trailing Argentina 25-9 at the 5:17 mark in the quarter.
#However, behind the sheer dominance of Ayton to start the game, The Bahamas proved why they were ranked atop the FIBA Olympic Pre-Qualifying Tournament power rankings.
CHAVANO Buddy Hield scored 23 points, grabbed six rebounds and dished out three assists last night against Argentina in the FIBA Basketball World Cup Americas Qualifiers.
#The centre, who pumped in his second consecutive double double with 22 points and 15 rebounds, led the charge and helped the team narrow the lead to 35-27.
#The national team climbed back into the driver’s seat in the second quarter. Despite Hield struggling from the field at this juncture of the game, Gordon joined Ayton to stuff the stat sheet with 13 points on 4/6 field goals in the second period.
DEANDRE Ayton posted 22 points, 15 rebounds and three blocks.
#He ended the night with a game-high 24 points on 50% shooting. The Bahamas cut down the double digit Argentina lead to six (46-40). With less than one minute remaining, the national team took a one-point lead over the host team and closed out the quarter leading 55-53.
#Munnings was huge for The Bahamas in the third quarter as he was up to 14 points on a perfect 5/5 shooting. Ultimately, he capped off the night with 20 points and remained flawless, going 8/8 from the field and splashed five-three pointers to lift the national team.
#Team Bahamas closed out the third quarter of play with a 15-point lead (82-67), outscoring Argentina 27-14 in the quarter.
ERIC GORDON, dunking, contributed 24 points and three assists.
#The fourth ranked team mounted a comeback behind the brilliant game of Nicolas Brussino, who ended his night with 21 points, narrowing The Bahamas’ lead to a mere six-point differential.
#However, the comeback was too little too late and The Bahamas advanced to a double-digit lead again to book their ticket to the semifinals.
#Hield ended the night with 23 points to pair with 6 rebounds and 3 assists following a rocky start to the game.
#The national team shot 58.7% on two-pointers and 47.62% from behind the arc.
#The Bahamas dominated Argentina on the glass, outrebounding the host team 40 to 28.
#After notching two straight double-digit wins, The Bahamas will next play in the semifinals on Saturday. The finals are scheduled to be played on Sunday with the winner advancing to the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournaments to compete for a spot at the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.