'Lady Rockerz' fail in FIBA Americas tournament bid

July 18, 2017

Jamaica's female basketballers missed out on a qualifying spot for the FIBA Americas tournament after they finished fourth in the Centro Basketball Championships in the US Virgin Islands last weekend.

A top-three spot would have would have given the Lady Rockers a further chance to qualify for next year's World Championships in Spain. The Jamaicans ended with seven points after winning two games and losing three. They lost to Puerto Rico 90-44, hosts US Virgin Islands 60-40, and Mexico 74-63 in their final game while beating the Bahamas 64-48 and Guatemala 66-48.

The hosts, Mexico, and Puerto Rico, qualified after finishing with nine points each from four wins and one loss.

General secretary of the Jamaica Amateur Basketball Association Marland Nattie said the Jamaicans had a realistic chance of qualifying, but circumstances worked against them.

Nattie told STAR Sports that the team's US-based coach, Tim Eatmon, was unable to join them soon enough for a pre-tournament training camp.

"They had a realistic chance. I think one of their downfall was that they weren't able to get everybody together (to train). If everybody's fitness level was up and they were able to go through the various systems [they might have qualified]," said Nattie.

"The head coach had a problem getting here during the training camp. Those things created problems. It wouldn't have been easy, but they would have had a better chance," he told STAR Sports.

The Jamaicans will next play in the Central American and Caribbean Games basketball tournament in Baranquilla, Colombia in August next year.

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