Hield, Munnings lift Team Bahamas over Dominican Republic

LEADING THE WAY – Buddy Hield, left, and Travis Munnings, right, led Team Bahamas to a thrilling 83-82 win over the Dominican Republic in their final game of the 2019 FIBA World Cup Qualifiers this past Monday in Santa Domingo, Puerto Rico. Hield and Munnings scored 19 points each in the win. (PHOTOS: JOHN-MARC NUTT) S

Team Bahamas looked to bounce back after last Thursday’s heartbreaking loss to the U.S. Virgin Islands and that is what they did in a thrilling 83-82 win.

Behind the scoring efforts of Grand Bahamians Chavanno “Buddy” Hield and Travis Munnings, The Bahamas picked up the 83-82 victory against the Dominican Republic, Monday (July 2) night, in Santa Domingo, Puerto Rico.

With last week’s loss, the men’s national team was officially eliminated from contention to qualify for the 2019 FIBA World Cup. Nonetheless, the “surprising victory,” as described by others, allowed Team Bahamas to bid farewell to the FIBA Americas Qualifiers on a high note.

Hield and Munnings came away with relatively similar stat lines. Hield totaled 19 points, while shooting 6-for-14 from the field, pulling down eight rebounds and coming away with three steals.

Munnings on the other hand, scored 19 points as well and shot 6-for-12 from the field. He also pulled down eight boards and had as many steals.

Michael Carey, Shaquille Cleare and Kadeem Coleby also added to the scoring charge. Carey poured in 15 points on 5-for-14 shooting to go along with seven assists. Cleare totaled 11 points on 5-for-10 shooting, coupled with six rebounds.

Coleby added 10 points while shooting 3-for-5 from the field, with four rebounds and one block.

The Dominican Republic’s Victor Liz turned in a game high 23 points in the loss. Luis Montero added 12 points and four rebounds, while Rigoberto Mendoza supplied 10 points the loss.

It was a defensive battle between The Bahamas and the Dominican Republic. Both teams struggled in the early goings of the first quarter. Eventually, things began to click offensively for both teams. Nonetheless, The Bahamas eventually held an 18-14 lead over the DR.

The Bahamas led by as much as six points near the end of the second quarter. Still, Team Bahamas went into half-time with a 36-32 lead.

With the DR struggling to mount any offence, Team Bahamas took advantage and began to build on their lead. With momentum on their side, The Bahamas eventually built an 11-point, 58-47, lead with one minute and 59 seconds (1:59) to go in the third quarter. The DR clawed their way back into a single digit deficit, as The Bahamas led 61-56 to end the quarter.

The Bahamas built a 13-point lead, 77-64, with 3:57 left to go in the fourth quarter. The Dominicans, however, began to mount a comeback deep into the fourth quarter. The Dominican Republic eventually trailed The Bahamas 75-79 with 1:32 left to spare.

With 52 seconds remaining the DR took an 80-79 lead. Munnings, however, regained the lead for The Bahamas, 81-80, with a pair free throws. A two-point basket from Carey eventually gave The Bahamas the lead for good with 32 seconds left.

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