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Defensive play key to basketball gold
Friday, July 19, 2013 9:57 AM
Sullivan Phillips *File photo
Island Games basketball co-ordinator Tim Trott lauded a superb defensive display from Bermuda as they made it three golds in a row last night.
While the competition was affected by team withdrawals prior to the event, Bermuda and Saaremaa put on a good show over three games at Bermuda College.
It culminated in a 61-38 win — the most convincing of their three victories this week — that earned the home side gold and Trott said it was down mainly to the discipline showed by Bermuda’s players.
He told the Bermuda Sun: “It was a fine defensive effort — but if you play a team three times you know everything about them.
“We limited two of their better players to doubles figures. Their strength is their perimetre game, which sets up their inside game and we were able to take that away from them.
“Last Island Games they actually beat us in the first game and they beat us on the perimeter — they killed us. When we took that away from them they couldn’t do anything — we did the same again last night.”
Sullivan Phillips was Bermuda’s standout player and was named MVP for the tournament and the final, where he scored just eight points but claimed seven assists, five rebounds, three steals and two blocks in a superb all-round display.
“He did everything,” said Trott. “He can play anywhere on the court. He plays pro basketball and you can see he definitely has class. And the thing he does bring, which you don’t see in the stats, is his leaderships skills.”
Despite the gold there was no hiding the fact the competition suffered from an obvious lack of teams, which was put down mainly to the financial constraints of other islands.
The 2015 Island Games in Jersey is expected to see normal service resumed, with the likes of Cayman Islands, Menorca, Rhodes, Guernsey and, of course, Jersey, back competing.
Trott said: “The next Island Games I think we will have the full force of basketball teams, which is want we want.
“I think we actually saw one of the best teams in Saaremaa but we will have Menorca and Rhodes [back] and they can beat anyone, including us, on any given day. Then you have Gibraltar and Cayman — there’s six right there that can all win gold.”
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