Bahamas withstands Curacao test to stay unbeaten  


WILLEMSTED, CURACAO, December 1:  Prince’tanique Wilson once again led from the front as Bahamas withstood a stern test from host country Curacao to register a four-set win  in a clash of unbeaten teams to close out the first day in the NORCECA Group A 2014 FIVB Men’s World Championship qualifiers at the International School of Curacao, Willemsted, on Saturday night.


Wilson tallied 21 points which included 15 spikes and five blocks while Renaldo Knowles got 13, Shedrick Forbes added 12 and Endrierich Rahming 11, as the balanced attacked overwhelmed a spirited Curacao which was backed by a lively home crowd, 25-27, 25-18, 28-26, 25-17 in one hour, 45 minutes.


The closeness of the encounter was even reflected on the statistics sheets with the Bahamians, recent winners of the Caribbean Zonal Volleyball Association Championship in US Virgin Islands, St Croix, having a slight edge in spikes, 52-46; blocks 10-8 and service aces, 7-6 while it was Curacao who led on errors, 34-28, something the Bahamians would be happy about.


For Curacao captain Ebram Raphael was the best scorer with 14, Raygid Isenia and Darwin Colina got 12 each, and veteran Gilbert Poulina, 11.


With the win, Bahamas improved to nine points, five clear of Curacao and Jamaica to be certain of playing in the gold medal match while Martinique is bottom of the four-team table with three points ahead of Sunday’s final round of preliminary matches.


The win also ensured Bahamas as one of the three teams to qualify from the group for the second round of qualifiers next year.



Speaking after the match, Curacao captain Raphael said the match was a very good good and well played by both teams, but unfortunately his team was beaten.


“The level of the match was a very high one but our team seems to have a problem with our concentration as we tend to make too many errors when the matches are close or when we are trying to play catch up. So we need to execute our points well, focus a lot more and get it right for the next match which we must win.


Wilson, captain of the Bahamian squad said his team expected a tough fight from Curacao coming into the match and he was very happy they came away with another win.


Wilson also felt his team showed a lot more composure and never got anxious when the sets were very close, something he felt played a key role in their win in the end.


Curacao coach, Hubert Petronia was also pleased with the way his team played even though they were second best on the night.


“We cannot be disappointed one bit by the way we played and we must look forward to our next match tomorrow which we have to win.”


Raymond Wilson, coach of Bahamas and Prince’tanique's dad said he also anticipated a good match with Curacao. They (Bahamas) have good players and from what we have seen in the tournament so far they plan well. We had to stay focus at all times and maintain our composure throughout.


So we congratulate them (Curacao) on a great effort but I think our consistency during the match is what made the difference in the end.


On Sunday in the morning session, the final round of preliminary matches, Bahamas plays Martinique from 9am followed by Jamaica and Curacao ahead of the third place match and gold medal contest in the afternoon.


At the end of the tournament, the top three teams will advance to the second round of qualifiers which begin next year.