'Special' move

...Basketballers defeat Cote d'Ivoire in thriller

Sunday, March 17, 2019

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ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates — Special Olympics Jamaica (SOJ) basketball team battled valiantly to defeat Cote d'Ivoire 49-47 in double overtime yesterday in riveting action at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC).

The rugged encounter ended when Cote d'Ivoire were no longer able to produce a five-member team on the court because too many of their players were fouled out.

It was Jamaica's second victory in as many days after previously defeating Saudi Arabia 37-28 at the same venue.

Coach Nagash Cockburn praised his team's execution in the face of another tough challenge here at the World Summer Games in the United Arab Emirates.

“My players just stuck to the plan to keep attacking and draw as many fouls as possible, and that discipline got us the victory today,” he told the Jamaica Observer.

The SOJ basketball players are scheduled to meet their counterparts from Finland at ADNEC today in their next game.

Jamaica basketballers are well poised to enter the medal frame after previously winning silver at the 2015 World Games in California, United States.

Bocce player Delroy Sullivan is also on the verge of a medal after winning three-straight encounters in Division 27 at ADNEC.

Yesterday, he defeated San Marino's Fabio Santi 10-7; Bulgaria's Valeri Marinov 10-7; and Australia's Anthony Ward 7-3. Sullivan is slated to next face Brazil's Mayck de Luca this morning.

In bocce, players use an underarm action to bowl a ball at a target. Points are determined by the ball's proximity to the target.

There were mixed results for Special Olympics Jamaica in football competitions at Zayed Sports City.

Jamaica's female seven-a-side outfit beat Group One rivals Serbia 1-0 thanks to a strike from Taevia Collins. It's their second-successive win after beating Cote d'Ivoire on Friday.

The male footballers were brought down to earth with a 1-4 thrashing at the hands of hosts United Arab Emirates.

“We gave up three soft goals… but this is football — if you get chances and don't score them then that's it,” Jamaica Coach Shane Richards said during a post-game interview.

“It wasn't a bad game, it's just that we had injuries and never had our captain [Moran Singh] to start the game,” he added.

Before yesterday's encounter, Jamaica were sitting pretty at the top of Group A with six points from two matches after impressive 4-0 and 3-1 wins over South Africa and Spain, respectively.

As it stands, they will have to wait on other results to determine if they will progress to either the Division One or Two semi-finals.

— Sanjay Myers

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