U.S. basketball team travels to Cuba for exhibition game and loses against national team

Posted: 11-Aug-15 09:31

The Coastal Carolina University basketball team recently travelled to Havana, Cuba for an international exhibition game. The more experienced Cuban national team won in a disputed match against the Chanticleers.

U.S. basketball team travels to Cuba for exhibition game and loses against national team

Last weekend Havana was the stage for a friendly exhibition game between the Coastal Carolina University basketball team and the experienced Cuban national team. Having taken place on Sunday 9th August, this friendly international match was a great opportunity for both squads to test their abilities and allow young players to shine. The experience and hard work of the Cuban team paid off as they took home the victory 96-72.

Also known as the Chanticleers, the Coastal Carolina players made a great effort to take the game from the first minute. In the end, however, the weariness caused by little rest and jetlag showed on the court. Osmel Oliva with several three-pointers, Jasiel Rivero and Lisvan Valdes were Cuba’s three main men on the score board throughout the game, whilst the quick Jaylen Shaw finished as Coastal’s leading scorer.

The first quarter started off with two three-pointers from both teams. The match started off pretty evenly until Oliva’s second three-pointer was followed by Jasiel Rivero’s five straight points and Lisvan Valdes’ three points, marking an advantage and leaving the locals ahead by 28-20. The Chanticleers picked up on the second quarter thanks to a hard-working Wiggins and an effective Shaw and entered the first half only 3 points under the national team at 46-43.

The Cuban team rose above again in the third quarter, thanks to several scores from Yoan L Haiti, making the score 72-61 by the end of it. The definitive quarter was when the exhaustion of the American players started to show, as Cubans were able to mark the difference and finally achieved victory in their soil with a score board of 96-72.

Head Coach for the Coastal Carolina University Team, Cliff Ellis, was nevertheless, proud of his players’ efforts knowing that playing two games within just 28 hours took a toll on their physical condition.

The match’s heroes on the Chanticleers behalf were undoubtedly Shaw with 19 points, Wiggins with 16 and Freeman with 10. Both teams competed again in another international exhibition game yesterday 10th August, at 4:30 p.m. which again was won by Cuba's national team. It started off with the Chanticleers leading the game by 13 points in the third quarter, but Cuban players used a 13-1 run to start the fourth quarter, and finally overcame its double-digit deficit to hang on for the 93-86 win.This marked the final match between the two teams but we're sure that after the strengthening of ties between the two nations, more friendly games are soon to come. Last June, the much-publicised arrival of Pele in Cuba accompanied by the New York Cosmos football team resulted in a friendly match between them and Cuba's national football team.


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