The current FIBA Americas Champion scored another their second victory against the Virgin Islands, in a game that was close and well fought. Marlen Cepeda was the leading scorer with 17 points and 10 rebounds.
Virgin Islands managed to impose a fast 4-0, in the first minutes. Cuba despite its inaccuracies sewed a six points giving them the advantage on the scoreboard in the first half, parity showing great development and many inaccuracies.
The match was dominated by inaccuracies, poor decisions and low effectiveness by both teams, making an even game with little amount of points scored. With two free throws conversions from Ineidis Casanova, Cuba was ahead 12-10 near the end of the opening quarter, after Tanecka Carey attempts failed in the same way.
Cuba showed superior in the development of the match but struggled to translate that superiority on the board because it had very little effect on their shots (6-30). Virgin Islands kept the advantage, expectantly in the game with a better offensive production but with many fewer releases executed.
Natalie Day was again commissioned to carry the attack of the players coached by William Colon, but a triple by Leidys Oquendo with few seconds left, gave the advantage to the Cuban, 22-19.
Slowly Cuba could improve their level of play and the effectiveness in their shots, which allowed them to gradually increase the difference in the score which had ended the first half, but the low scoring was becoming persistent.
Alberto Zabala’s team made it to ten points when played six minutes of the quarter and managed to keep it as the opponent tried to discount. A double by Day and a triple by Carey approached the team of Colon to five (36-31) and the final moments of the third quarter became vibrant and electrifying, but the FIBA Americas Champions closed better and went to the final quarter with a 42-33 lead over the Virgin Islands.
Cuba managed to remain above the ten points difference but their victory was not assured as your little efficacy was still suffering with second and even third chances in their attacks.
Led by Day and Akkema Richards, Virgin Islands managed to get close to the minimum with just over a minute left (46-45), but Cuban weaved nine consecutive points and recovered the difference favoring them to face the final minutes with greater confidence (55-45).
The last champion of FIBA Americas gave no chances to Virgin Islands and stayed with the 60-50 victory.