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News / Sports / Virgin Islands / August 5, 2019

The U.S. Virgin Islands (ISV) Men’s Basketball team thanked fans in Peru and at home for their support as they capped off four days of competition on Saturday for the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima.

The team lost back to back games on Friday and Saturday against Venezuela and Mexico respectively, but not after putting up a formidable fight and entertaining the hundreds of fans cheering them on.

According to the USVI Olympic Committee, In the game against Venezuela on Friday, team ISV ended the first half with a strong lead 9-point lead, however lost in a nail-biter ending by just 3 points (81-84). Georgio Milligan, Walter Hodge, and Laron Smith were the team’s top scorers with 22, 18, and 15 points respectively.

“We did a good job moving the ball and playing for each other. We [were] focused and hit shots. That was very important and we [made] them guard and they didn’t want to do that,” said Hodge, team ISV’s team captain and point guard.

On Saturday, fans once again filled the arena with cheers for team ISV though they trailed Mexico for the first half. They gave spectators quite a show in the end, cutting a 20-point deficit at that half to just 11 points in the fourth (81-92). Their highpoint came in the third quarter when they outscored their opponents with a solid 31 points compared to Mexico’s 12 points.

Hodge, Milligan, and Smith again lead the team in scoring with 25, 18, and 15 points respectively.

Hodge said that he’s proud of the team’s performance which significantly improved over the course of four games.

“Every game we [were] getting better and better. We fight and that’s the most important thing to me—the fight. If we win, we win. If we lose, we lose, but we lose as fighters,” Hodge said.

Hodge went on to thank fans for their support which gave the team the extra motivation to fight. “I want to thank you for the support, we’re here, [and] we did four days of competition. Thank you for everything and thank you for watching at home,” Hodge said.

Team’s ISV’s women’s basketball team has arrived in Lima and has begun their training for competition which begins on Tuesday. The delegation also welcomed three swimmers, Adriel Sanes, Matthew Mays, and Natalia Kuipers who will begin competition on Tuesday as well. Mayumi Roller, ISV’s only athlete competing in sailing for the Games, will begin racing on Monday in the Women’s Dinghy Opening Series after the event was postponed the past two days due to lack of wind.

Feature Image: Sydney Paul

Staff Consortium

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