Paul Clarke, Gleaner Writer
Coach of Jamaica's senior men's basketball team, Sam Vincent, said while his team is potentially one of the stronger ones down to participate in the Federation of International Basketball Association (FIBA) of the Americas tournament between August 30 and September 11, 2013, the need for greater funding cannot be overemphasised.
"There is a need for greater financial support. We are going into the tournament of the Americas and this is a big event, a major event for us, and we need the resources to be able to get our players to the venues on time, get our uniforms and all the things required to do it on time," said Vincent.
"Hopefully, we'll do well at the tournament, which will then open the door for us to get better funding in time for the World Championships."
The Jamaican team defeated a combined US College team 2-0 in matches over the weekend, winning the first game 75-74 before outscoring the combined college 90-82 in overtime in last Saturday's second game at the Montego Bay Community College.
Point guard Wheyimni Rose scored 30 points and forward Patrick Ewing Jr added 16 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks to set up the win.
Vincent has identified a number of things that need fixing before their Group A opener against Canada in the FIBA tournament. They will also face Puerto Rico, Brazil and Uruguay in the preliminaries.
"We didn't have our full roster at our disposal and we have not been together all that long, but I thought we did well. But in order to do well in Venezuela, we have to protect the ball better," said Vincent. "We've got good players and experienced guys and I think it's a year we can go out and play really well.
"We have to keep our turnovers down," he noted, as the Jamaicans threw away the ball too often in the first of two games on Friday night.
"We have to be a little bit more controlled with the ball and a little bit smarter. We can't allow teams to get that many open shots and that happened too often," he said. "We're going into international competition with great teams and it's going to be tough to win games, so taking care of the ball and spacing the floor is important."
Big men Samardo Samuels and Jerome Jordan did not suit up for the practice matches, but they will play in the tournament.