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Aug 2, 2011

Under 17 Youths play basketball in Puerto Rico

Paul Thompson

Discussions on football are ongoing, but basketball continues to bounce its way to the future. The Under Seventeen national team has been selected and on Monday the youths left for Puerto Rico to participate in the Centro Basket U17 Championship Tournament. According to President of the Belize Basketball Association, Paul Thompson, eight countries are participating in the tournament.

Paul Thompson, President, BBA

“The national U-17 basketball team is currently in Puerto Rico to participate in Centrobasket Championship games. The top two teams from this tournament will advance to the FIBA Americas U-18 tournament which will be held next year. The teams we’re be participating are the Bahamas, Panama and Mexico. Those teams are in our group. There is another group, which is group A, where you have Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, British Virgin Islands and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The top two teams from each group advances to a semifinals round where the top two teams in the tournament will advance to the FIBA Americas U-18 tournament which will be held next year. The venue for that has not been set yet.”

Jose Sanchez

“The team is already out there. How are they doing so far?”

Paul Thompson

“Right now they are practicing and the first game will be held tomorrow eleven o’clock Belize time against the Bahamas. On Thursday, the Belize team will play against Panama and that will be at four p.m. our time. On Friday we play Mexico and that’s at mid-day our time. If you want to follow these games, you can follow it on the FIBA Americas.com website where they will have live streaming of the live stats program.”

Jose Sanchez

“Who are the more formidable teams that we are facing?”

Paul Thompson

“It’s difficult to tell. We are aware of the Panama team and the Mexican team because we placed second in the COCABA championship in May of this year so we know of those two teams. We are unaware of the teams in the Caribbean. Puerto Rico is a powerhouse. The Bahamas they are similar to our style of game and we are not quite aware of the U.S. Virgin Islands and Dominican Republic. So it will be a test for us. This is a new experience for us. This is the first time that a U-17 team has advanced to the Centrobasket level.”

The delegation includes Coach Matthew Smiling, Coach Fred Gabourel, and Coach Bernie Tar. The teams that place first and second in the tournament will qualify for the FIBA Americas U 18 Tournament to be held August of 2012.

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