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Jul 7, 2010

Problems prevent play Centro Basket Games in D.R.

Charlie ellis

Thousands of viewers were glued to their television sets this afternoon in anticipation of Belize’s third match in the Centro Basket games in Santo Domingo. But the game did not happen as scheduled and that may work out to the advantage when Belize takes on Cuba.  Since the games began on Monday, there have been numerous problems on the court that could risk the professional athletes. A number of professional athletes refused to play on the hardwood at Palacio de Deportes in Santo Domingo and sat out today’s game.  Belize’s has beaten Trinidad, but has lost to Mexico so the third game is a decisive one which will determine whether our boys will advance to meet Puerto Rico as scheduled. News Five’s William Neal is in Santo Domingo and has a report of the situation on the ground.

William Neal

“And we’re live here at Palacio de Deportes where a decision has just been made with regards to the conditions here. It has been very difficult, very humid, the court has been very slippery and based on a protest by some of the players, FIBA has decided to postpone today’s games in an effort to make sure that safety comes first.”

“Charles, what was the decision that was made and why?”

Charlie Ellis, BBF Executive

“Well they had a technical meeting just now, William. What happened is that the court has been very slippery from the tournament started and a lot of guys were risking injury out here and they decided to cancel all games for today until tomorrow when the a/c is fixed.”

William Neal

Now, what will that mean to the schedule itself?

Charlie Ellis

“Well, tomorrow would have been our day off anyway, so the game has been postponed or cancelled for today to tomorrow to be played at the same time tomorrow. So it won’t affect us schedule-wise.”

William Neal

Now, in terms of the schedule itself though, in terms of how rough it will be coming towards the end?

Charlie Ellis

“Well in reality then the championship game will be added on an additional day. So instead of Sunday it will be Monday, that the final games will be played. And we are hoping to be in there. So it’s only one more day we’ll have to stay out here.”

Marques Johnson, Head Coach, National Basketball Team

“Well, I feel it was a good decision because the safety of the players has to be a paramount concern. I understand there was a Panamanian player that sustained injuries. It’s not clear whether the floor was responsible or not but you know if there’s any question as to the safety issue being involved, then we need to get that cleared up before we get out there and play.”

William Neal

“Now, we understand that tomorrow would have been a day off. How does this impact the team and the intensity that they will have to maintain to the end of the tournament itself?”

Marques Johnson

“Well, actually it works out for us because we played two hard games back to back Monday and Tuesday. So this becomes our day off and tomorrow we’ll maybe do something light in the morning, if anything at all. Our preparation is done so the more rest I think our guys can get, I think the better off we are. So this kinda actually works in our favor.”

William Neal

“Now, there’s also the discussion that there’s another day being added. Monday, finals will be played. How does that impact the team in any other way, shape or form?”

Marques Johnson

“Well, if we’re there to me you get to the finals, the adrenaline and the intensity will take care of itself. So if we’re in the finals I’m not worried about how the impact is gonna be cause it means we’re playing some pretty good basketball. But I think to me, the day off, our guys not having to play a very athletic, very fast Cuba basketball team on the heels of playing to two games in a row, hopefully will be a benefit to us.”

William Neal

“In terms of performance, what do you expect in the game coming with the additional day of rest?”

Marques Johnson

“Well, hopefully lively legs. Again I thought we were a little tired yesterday. The guys were playing some pretty tough minutes especially Milton Palacio, Keenan Jourdan, Alex Carcamo in particular. So we relied on them this morning in practice, having them shoot free throws. I told them please sit down, just relax, get off your feet. So because of that day off I think their legs will be rejuvenated so they should be pretty spry and youthful looking tomorrow I hope.”

Roy Hibbert, Jamaican Basketball Team

“I think it’s a good decision actually. I played last night and because of the court being slippery, I might have possibly injured my knee. And I wasn’t going to play today so hopefully nobody else gets hurt if they decide to play tomorrow or the day after. So they’re gonna have to look into that.”

William Neal

“Why did you think it was so important to take a stand when so many others didn’t?”

Roy Hibbert

“I mean I know that playing for Team Jamaica is important for myself and for the country but safety is the most important thing and I wouldn’t want to start my NBA season with a bummed knee and have to rehab even more. So I wasn’t gonna play there and I told my guys to be safe when they’re out there.”

William Neal

“While the mood here may not be festive anymore because of the postponement, I think most of the players and the fans understand that safety comes first. Reporting from Santo Domingo for News Five, I am William Neal.”


Stay tuned for tomorrow’s game against Cuba beginning at four p.m.


Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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