D’Tigress Head Coach, Otis Hughley is confident that his team has chances of successfully defending their FIBA AFROBASKET title when the competition gets underway on August 9, 2019.Following the team’s draw against Tunisia and Cameroon at the official draw ceremony held in Dakar, Senegal, Otis said the team can mount a strong title defense with the talents at his disposal.Having led the team to a historic eighth-place finish at the 2018 World Cup in Spain, Otis is aware of the buzz already created around D’Tigress ranked number 2 in Africa.The team will hope to bury the ghost of their 2015 misadventure where they narrowly lost to host-Cameroon 70-71 in the semifinal under Coach Scott Nnaji.“I know Cameroon has a good history against us. They beat Nigeria in the 2015 semis. At this level, anybody can be beaten any day, so we are taking all the teams as the same. No matter who they are, we are going to play them hard and tough”.Despite exuding confidence about their chances at the AFROBASKET holding in Dakar, Senegal, Otis cautioned that winning the title for the fourth time will not come cheap.“It is a round ball, no matter what, it is still going to bounce. We are still going to worry about health and how the chemistry is going to pan out this year because we have not had a lot of time to train together”.The reigning African Champions went 8 games unbeaten to clinch the 2017 title in Bamako, Mali defeating Senegal, 65-48 points to win the title.The Defending Champions, Nigeria, hosts Senegal, Mali and Angola have been tipped as favorites by bookmakers.Related
OXFORD — Tony Bridges was surprised on Sunday.The Rebels are changing their practice plans in an effort to improve their poor tackling.The Ole Miss cornerback joined his teammates to watch film from Saturday’s 37-24 loss to Memphis and couldn’t believe how poorly he had played.“I’m way better than that,” Bridges said. “As far as I’m going right now, that ain’t me that I’m putting on film. I feel like I gave a lot up on third downs, which I shouldn’t be doing.”The junior isn’t alone.The Rebels missed 30 tackles against Memphis and had the right third-down play called five times but failed to execute properly, Rebels head coach Hugh Freeze said. This helped the Tigersconvert on 12 of 20 third downs, including ones of 9 (twice), 13 and 16 yards.Missed tackles by the Rebels that have led to third-down conversions by opponents has been a common theme this season.They’ve allowed opponents to convert on third downs 43 percent of the time, which ranks 102nd out of 128 FBS programs and behind teams such as Florida International and Louisiana-Lafayette.Their 55 third-down conversions allowed rank 125th, tied with Texas Tech and only ahead of Ball State and Fresno State, which both have given up 58.The Rebels ranked 12th last season when they allowed opponents to convert on third downs 33 percent of the time and tied for 21st with 65 third-down conversions given up.The drop-off has bumped them from 16 points allowed per game last season to 22.1.Their struggles this season led Rebels defensive coordinator Dave Wommack to compare them with former Los Angeles Dodgers second baseman Steve Sax, who developed a mental block that kept him from throwing to first base accurately.“It almost gets to be a psychological thing,” Wommack said. “We’ve always been extremely good at third downs. We’ve emphasized it for four, five weeks. I almost want to go the other way. It’s kind of like fumbles: Sometimes when you don’t talk about them, you don’t get them.”The No. 24 Rebels (5-2, 2-1 SEC), however, have taken a proactive approach to their difficulty with tackling ahead of Saturday’s 6 p.m. home game against No. 15 Texas A&M (5-1, 2-1 SEC).Players went through four tackling circuits on Tuesday in an effort to improve the angles they’re taking to ball carriers. Wommack said their routes to opponents were troublesome against Florida and Memphis, the two teams that have beaten the Rebels this season.The Rebels reduced the amount of tackling they did in the offseason because of concern over a lack of depth and injuries and backed off doing individual drills the past few weeks in an attempt to not wear players down during the team’s current streak of 10 games in 10 weeks.Bridges welcomed the return of tackling drills and hopes they help the Rebels’ performance Saturday look better when the team watches game film on Sunday.“We lost that juice, but I think we’ve got it back now,” he said. “We’ve been doing something a little different to hopefully spark the team back up. I think it’s back to where it needs to be.”Contact Daniel Paulling at [email protected] Follow @DanielPaulling on Twitter.
Berbice defeated the Select U19 by nine wickets via Duckworth-Lewis method while Demerara registered a six-wicket win over Essequibo Thursday in the Guyana Cricket Board Senior Female Inter-County T20 tournament at Everest Cricket Club, Camp Road. The first match of the day was affected by rain which forced a late start but when play got underway Berbice won the toss and sent the Select U19 in to bat.The Select U19 were in a spot of bother at 56-5 with rain once again halting play after 17.4 overs were sent down.Afruica Gentle top scored with an unbeaten 25 consisting of four boundaries. Gentle lost her opening partner, Mandy Mangru who was trapped leg before wicket to off-spinner Sheneta Grimmond for just five. Shabika Gajnabi, after a cautious start, registered two boundaries before being dismissed by Plaffina Millington for 14. Millington also struck by beating the defense of Casey Charles to finish with 2-13.In the chase, Berbice required just 15 from five overs and reached 17-1 off 17 balls with Grimmond hitting the lone boundary.Meanwhile after lunch, Demerara won the toss and sent Essequibo in to bat, restricting them to 77-8 from their 20 overs. In reply Demerara reached 78-4 in 13 overs.Annalisa D’Aguiar top scored with 18 while Lisa Charles supported with 17 consisting of three boundaries. Estelle Lewis was the only other batter to reach double figures with 10.Akaze Thompson picked up three wickets and was supported by left-arm orthodox spinner, Kaysia Schultz who bagged 2-6 and Haseena Mohammed who took 2-13. In reply, player of the match, Lashana Toussaint stroked an unbeaten 42, hitting four fours and a lone six off of leg-spinner Vinita Balkishun.D’Aguiar returned with the ball to remove Keisha Fraser and Thompson cheaply to end with 2-11.Caption: Lashana Toussaint receives her player of the match award from match referee Moses Ramnarine.