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Oct 19, 2012

COCABA U-16 Championship Tournament in Tegucigalpa

Twelve basketball players from high schools across the country left this morning en route to Tegucigalpa, Honduras to compete in the five-day COCABA U-sixteen Championship tournament. Over the past month, the national team has been training with Coaches Matthew Smiling, Bernie Tarr and Raymond Sanchez. A silver or gold medal in the tournament will qualify the Belize team for the Centro Basket U-seventeen Tournament to be held in 2013. But to reach that goal, the national team would have to best five other competitors; El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Costa Rica and Panama, in a round robin format. President of the Belize Basketball Federation, Paul Thompson spoke to News Five about the process for selecting the delegation. Thompson says that in 2011, the team advanced to Centrobasket and that he is hopeful that they will repeat their performance this year. 


Paul Thompson, President, Belize Basketball Federation

Paul Thompson

“The U-16 Belize National Team left for Tegucigalpa this morning to participate in the U-16 COCABA Championships which will be held there in Tegucigalpa. Six countries will be participating.  We started tryouts early September. We had over eighty young men from all over the country tryout. We did one in Belmopan and one in Belize City. We selected twenty-four players who registered with FIBA and of that twenty-four, twelve travelled to participate. The top two teams will qualify to participate in Centrobasket next year which will be U-17 participating against the qualifying team from the Caribbean.”


Duane Moody

“The basketball federation has been focusing on the younger athletes this time around. Tell us about the training and preparing for the competition.”


Paul Thompson

“For the past four years that has been our focus—focusing on our younger players, our youth. And yes, this is our second time participating in this tournament at this age category. Last time, last year, we participated in a U-17 which we won silver medal and moved on to Centrobasket. This time around it’s a U-16; they took back the category one year and yes we are very focused in this.  We are very hopeful; we believe that we can challenge in this region and we should medal. You never know what you will face because these are younger athletes; so you don’t know what’s coming up. When they are older, you can more or less gauge. So it is difficult to gauge as I said, but we are very hopeful that we will medal and advance.”


The game starts this Sunday and concludes on Thursday; the delegation returns on Friday.

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1 Response for “COCABA U-16 Championship Tournament in Tegucigalpa”

  1. Josh says:

    Must say, was a nice experience trying out for this team, getting called back after the first practice was nice for me, sadly I did not play up to standards due to the way I felt. Surely gonna try to get back and be the best

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