Wilson paces Bahamas past Jamaica in Pool A opener


WILLIAMSTAD, CURACAO, December 30: Team captain Prince’tanique led a balance Bahamas attack with 11 points as they registered a straight sets victory over an out-of-sync Jamaica in the opening match of the NORCECA Group A 2014 FIVB Men’s World Championship qualifiers at the International School of Curacao, Williamstad, on Saturday morning.


Wilson had eight spikes and two blocks in his tally while Renaldo Knowles and Tony Simon added eight points each, and Byron Ferguson and Shedrick Forbes, six apiece as the recently crowned Caribbean Zonal Volleyball Association champions, picked up from where they left off in St Croix, US Virgin Islands in July by beating the Dellan Brown-led Jamaica, 25-15, 25-14, 28-26 in 70 minutes in front of a lively and appreciative audience.


For the Bahamians it was an overall solid display as they looked the more aggressive of both teams and dominated their opponents on blocks 8-3 while both teams were even in service aces at 4-4.


On the other hand, Jamaica, fourth placed finishers at the CAZOVA tournament were slow out of the starting blocks and despite dominating on spikes, 34-30 proved to be no match for the Bahamians.


For Jamaica which committed 36 errors to basically hand its rivals victory, Ryck Webb had a match high 14 points, inclusive of 10 spikes, two blocks and two service aces each, while Delford Morgan chipped in with 12, Conaradio Taylor eight and Brown, six.


Commenting after the loss, a disappointed Brown said his team strayed from their tactics for the match totally and did not play to their true potential.


“Congrats to Bahamas, they are the top ranked Caribbean team at present and during our pre-match talk we planned for them, but we did not stick to our game plan and did not execute well at all.


“For the first two sets we were not serving, passing, defending or playing well, however in the third set we started to get it together and had a good lead.


“But against a team like Bahamas, you have to maintain that advantage once you have it, but we were not able too.


“All in all it was our first match and we are glad that we started with a tough match and now we are looking at our performances getting better and hopefully we will meet again in the final.


Winning captain Wilson was a man of few words and said it was great for his team to get the first match jitters out of the way with a win against a tough team.


However, Wilson was quick to note his team did not play to its full potential and hopefully over the next three matches they will be able to improve match by match.


Jamaica coach, Steve Davis despite the straight sets loss said he was not too disheartened by the performance of his players.


“The only way from here is upward in terms of our performance. Wed did not play to our normal standard and credit to Bahamas who were much calmer in tense situations and executed well.


Raymond Wilson, coach of Bahamas and also the father of Prince’tanique was happy to get the first match out of the way against what he described as a very tough opponent.


He added, “It good that we started with Jamaica as they are always a tough team to play. This will set the stage for our players as we want to play with a lot of consistency.


“I believe the team that limits its number of mistakes and play with the most consistency over the two days of competition will come out on top and that is something we intend on achieving.


In Saturday’s second session, Bahamas faces host Curacao from 8pm while Jamaica and Martinique meet from 6pm.


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.