By Dean Greenaway
Officials from the Caribbean Basketball Confederation announced during a press briefing on Monday afternoon at the Multipurpose Sports Complex where games will be played, that the British Virgin Islands will host the 23rd Men’s and 22nd Women’s Championships from June 8-21.
CBC President Glyne Clarke said the tournament should be exciting with eight women’s and 10 men’s team competing over 14 days of intense basketball. “I’m positive these championships will excite and bring some delight to wet the basketball hungry appetite of fans, not only in the BVI but in your nearby islands,” Clarke said. “Teams from 11 countries including Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Vincent and the Grenadines Suriname and the U.S. Virgin Islands, will return to Tortola, seeking our new trophies. We welcome for the first time, competing at any category, the British Virgin Islands Women’s team. We will also have defending Women’s champion Jamaica.”
Clarke said the Cayman Islands and Suriname will be returning to the Sr. Men’s division. Three teams from the CBC Championships will qualify for the 2016 Centrobasket Tournament, which in its new format, will qualify teams also for the new format of the 2017 America’s Cup.
“I’m sure basketball enthusiasts in the coming months, will hear about the new FIBA Governor’s Model—that model of one FIBA—and a new games format which will culminate in the 2019 World Cup,” Clarke stated. “These CBC Championships held here in the BVI, will be the last of this current format. The Men’s Championships will have a new format, starting in 2017.”
It will mark the third time that the BVI will be hosting the CBC Championships since 2009. The BVI hosted the Men’s and Women’s tournament last year. In a first, the BVI will be fielding a Women’s team in the competition—although the BVI Basketball Federation has never held a women’s league in its 41-year history.
“It is with great pride and humility that as president of the BVI Basketball Federation, I stand before you today to confirm that this championships will be a historic one for the BVI, as we showcase our very first Women’s national team,” Guy “The General” Malone said. “Brian Brewley was unanimously elected by the federation and is tasked with the duties of the head coach and is already hard at work with our young ladies, getting them ready to showcase the team. I am confident and can assure you, although they are a new team, don’t take your eyes off them.”
The Women’s tournament will run from June 8-12 and the Men from June 15-21.
The Women’s groups are as follows: Group A: Antigua and Barbuda, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Group B: Jamaica, Barbados, Guyana and British Virgin Islands.
Men’s groupings; Group A: Barbados, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Group B: Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Bermuda, Guyana and Suriname.