The Bahamas qualified for the FIBA (International Basketball Federation) Americas U-18 Championships for the first time in 11 years last night, scoring a thrilling 85-83 win over the Dominican Republic in the bronze medal game of the Centrobasket U-17 boys championships.
Deyton Albury came up big for The Bahamas once again. He scored 28 points on 12-24 shooting from the field with six assists, four rebounds and four steals. Romad Dean added 18 points and 13 rebounds and Tyler Pinder and Malik Joseph added 12 points each.
The bronze medal game was decided in the final 10 seconds of action. Dean made a put-back dunk off an Albury miss to break an 83-83 tie with four seconds left. The DR had one more chance at winning, but Jean Montero misfired on a three-pointer with time expiring.
“It’s been a lot of years. This was not easy, but when you accomplish something like this, you have to think back to everyone that helped paved the way to make this possible,” said Bahamas head coach Quentin Hall. “I gave the guys some extra time this morning. We skipped practice because I knew it would take us all four quarters to get past this team.”
Montero led the Dominican Republic with a game-high 29 points. Koby Brea had 14 points and five rebounds, and Sdenry Gonzales chipped in with 11 points.
The Bahamas finished pool play with a 2-1 record with wins over the US Virgin Islands (89-76) and El Salvador (86-57) before falling to Mexico in the semifinals.
The top three nations from the tournament all advance to the 2020 FIBA Americas U18 Championships.