The Internationally acclaimed Reggae musician Jimmy Cliff gave all of us an advice years ago, when he said …’You can get it if you really want, but you must try’, and the Young Sunshine girls took Jimmy’s advice today, in giving their all to beat Uganda 44-39 in a tough pool C battle at the University of Botswana, in Gaborone.
Determined to avoid back to back losses the Jamaican girls fought tooth and nail and jumped to an early lead at 8-6, before extending the lead to 10-7 with two minutes to go, and with both shooters Shimona Nelson and Hasana Williams converting well, Jamaica ended the first quarter at 14-8 in front.
Called for stepping and contact on several occasions, Uganda’s attack fell apart in the second quarter and as they lost possession of the ball in transition, the Sunshine stars capitalized on every mistake and built their biggest lead yet at 25-10. Centre Tashai Pryce was lightning quick in a pass to Wing Attack Carla Lee -Tingling who made a quick touch pass to Williams at the top of the shooting circle, and after catching on the run she made then made a high pass to the reliable Nelson who made no mistake, as the quarter ended 29-17, – advantage Jamaica.
With the scores ticking, Uganda cut the gap to 13 points to trail 36-23 with 6 minutes 37 to go in the third period, and when Uganda pushed a crusade to get back in the contest, team Jamaica remained resolute to end the quarter in-front at 38-25 .
When the action rolled into the fourth quarter Jamaica lost some momentum and Uganda were back in business as their shooter Sam Seera exploded after her team began battling for every ball, and while the player marking from Jamaica fell off, and the legs got tired Uganda then cut the deficit and trailed by just 10 goals with 2 minutes 39 seconds to play, trailing 42-32. Uganda scored 7 more goals Jamaica added just two in the reaming minutes as the contest ended 44-39. The young Sunshine girls were outscored 14-9 in the last quarter.
Goal shooter Shimona Nelson was almost flawless scoring 32 goals from 33 attempts, for 96.9 percent shooting, while she was ably assisted by Goal Attack Hasani Williams who knocked down 12 of 17 attempts.
Following a Technical meeting of the International Netball Federation (INF) Jamaica will now play England in the quarterfinal tomorrow at 9 am Jamaica time.