Cayman’s men open title defence with dominant performance

The Cayman Islands men’s national basketball team opened the defence of its gold medal from two years ago with a convincing 103-42 win over the Isle of Wight at the XVIII NatWest International Island Games in Gibraltar.

It was never really a much of a contest, with the Caribbean side jumping to a 28-7 lead after the first quarter and stretching it to 51-20 at the half.

Joshua O’Garro goes for the slam

Joshua O’Garro, making his debut for the senior men’s team in international play, led the way off the bench with 28 points, nine rebounds and six steals. Although coach Ed Pellot-Rosa relied on his veterans to lead the way, he got solid contributions all around including from young players like Juawon Ebanks, who had six points, three rebounds, five assists and five steals; along with Arin Taylor and Kai Robinson-Allard, who both moved the ball well when running the offence.

HIGHLIGHTS: Joshua O’Garro and Tikko Moore throw down a pair of emphatic slams

“It feels really good,” said captain Samuel O’Garro, who scored 12 points. “We just came out to try and execute and get our legs under us [and] get the rust off, so this is a warm-up for us. We need another game to get our feet under us.”

PG Arin Taylor drives past a defender

He was delighted that he and other veterans could sit back with the game in hand. “The rookies did an excellent job for us. I’m very proud of them. This is what we’re looking forward to [in] the future to help us out,” O’Garro said.

Other top contributors included Phillip Webb with 16 points and nine rebounds, and Shaad O’Garro with 12 points and 4 rebounds.

Next up is Isle of Man on Monday evening (10:15am in the Cayman Islands) before completing group play against the Aland Islands of Finland on Tuesday (4:00am in the Cayman Islands).

Davion Cotterell

Meantime, Cayman’s women lost their first game to hosts Gibraltar by 14 points (68-54). They are back in action against the Spanish island of Menorca on Monday (6:30am in the Cayman Islands) and against Jersey on Tuesday (1:30pm in the Cayman Islands).

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