Posted: Saturday, February 23, 2019. 11:50 pm CST.
By Aaron Humes: Belize national team, coached by Milton Palacio, went down 82-80 to Cuba in a nailbiter at the Belize Civic Center this evening.
Jasiel Rivero, Cuba’s powerful center, led all scorers with 29 points and 9 rebounds.
Belize trailed by 12 entering the fourth quarter but mounted a 9-2 run to close the gap to three points. After exchanging baskets, Elvis Olivera hit a mid-lane jumper for Belize to tie the game at 80, then Devin Daly who finished with 23 points had two open looks with 14 seconds left but failed to convert either.
Belize’s top scorer against Antigua and Barbuda, Richard Troyer, finished with just 3 points against Cuba’s tight defense.
Cuba is now undefeated in two matches and closes out vs. Antigua, which lost heavily earlier to The Bahamas 110 to 56. Belize must now defeat the Bahamas to secure one of the top two qualifying places in the group and advance to the next stage of qualifying.
Cuba vs. Antigua is set for six p.m., followed by Belize vs. Bahamas at eight-thirty on Sunday, 24 February 2019.///