Antigua and Barbuda withstand pressure to take Gold

St. JOHN’s  ANTIGUA , July  10,  2022 – Antigua and Barbuda did not wilt under the pressure and  came from two sets down to win 3-2(23-25, 23-25, 25-18, 26-24, 15-11)  over St Lucia, and  emerge as champions of the 2022 Eastern Caribbean Volleyball Association( ECVA) Senior Men’s Championships.

It was an eruption of joy by players and spectators when the final point was attained for Antigua and Barbuda, at the YMCA Indoor Facility.

But, the eventual winners looked dead and buried after being down two sets to nil, but some tactical adjustments, saw them surging back from the third set, whilst St Lucia began to mount their errors.

Antigua and Barbuda’s scoring was led by Adrian Constant who hit 20 points. Aiding him were Jamarie James and Cairon Davis, who both scored 15 points.

For St Lucia, Tevin St Jean scored 20; Sheldon Descartes- 17 and Anfernee Ferdinand  had 12.

On the night, Antigua and Barbuda were proficient on Blocks, winning 22-9. St Lucia though won on Attacks 46-43 and Serve aces 6-2.

Winning the title, was welcomed by Antigua and Barbuda’s Head Coach- Fitzroy  Benjamin.

With a smile from ear to ear, Benjamin disclosed the formula used to subdue the St Lucians.

“ We changed the line- up, by taking our number seven (Cairon Davis), our tallest player and putting him in the middle… He was able to get some good blocks from the second set onwards and that helped us”. Benjamin related.

He also listed apparent fatigue amongst the St Lucians as well as the vociferous Antigua home support, which contributed to them rebounding from the third set.

“ They were looking tired and began dinking the ball low so our defence stepped … We had the home crowd behind us and that helped us big time”, Benjamin added.

For the St Lucia Head Coach- Terry Verdant, it was a case of his team did not get their game together on the big occasion.

“They were not blocking and were rushing the game and even when they went to the front court, they did not focus on the position of their opponents and that would have worked against us”, Verdant analysed.

He however praised his players for their efforts in spite of not crossing the final.

Final standings: 1. Antigua and Barbuda 2. St Lucia  3. St Maarten 4. Grenada 5. St Vincent and the Grenadines 6. Bermuda 7. St Kitts and Nevis 8. Dominica 9. Anguilla.