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Bahamas Water Polo Team attend training camp in Florida

In order to further develop The Bahamas water polo the Mantas Water Polo Club had decided to send our top players on a 12 days training camp to two different Florida cities. In both locations we had practices with the local teams then in both cities we participated in weekend tournaments.

The funding for air tickets, accommodation, entry fees and a small bus with gasoline came mostly from one sponsor and the parents contributed $350.00 per athlete. Chaperon Vashni Carey stayed with the team in Boca Raton while Brenda Wert helped the team in Orlando.

The travelling players were as below:

1 Edward McPhee 31-Oct-96

2 Jonathan Albury 19-Sep-97

3 Stearlin Lewis 15-Sep-98

4 Aaron Carey 28-Sep-98

5 Kadyn Coakley 30-Oct-98

6 Joel Albury 24-Nov-98

7 Marcel Ingraham 6-Apr-99

8 Saequan Miller 1-Oct-99

9 Nathan Wert 1-Oct-99

10 Seth Rolling 26-Oct-99

11 Laszlo Borbely coach

Wednesday, June 26

This day the team traveled to Fort Lauderdale in the early morning hours then took bus ride to Boca Raton. After settling we went over to the St. Andrew School's pool. The boys played almost 2 hours of practice game against the home team Scots utilizing shot clocks. We performed quite well Stearlin, Joel and Aaron scoring goals. Passes and shots were off but considering the very early wake up and the multiple traveling these were understandable.

Thursday, June 27

Around 5 pm we drove over to the pool for the second day practice game. First we played the local 18 years old team. Joel and Edward had a little scuffle with them. Then we played the girls team then the boys again and finally the girls once more. The team played lot better than the previous day. Defense was tighter and firmer. Seth kept well. The attack was wobbly at first then passes got more accurate and positioning had improved. Finally the shots got on target and we started to score decent goals. Stearlin was strong in the hole. Nathan toughened up on the right wing. Saequan had a couple of successful counter attacks. Aaron was useful in defense. Marcel’s shots were off and he was nursing his strained left hand after blocking a shot.

Friday, June 28

In the hotel I kept chalk board training on defense. It was high time to nail down our defense once and for all and iron out the different ideas the players had about it.

At the pool we played a slow spaced match against the local female team which gave us a chance to practice the defense we agreed on. Then the Puerto Rican Encantada entered into the water, which played with triple space shocking our players. After several minutes our guys picked up the speed and Stearlin scored from hole. Seth kept exceptionally well. Eventually bad weather put a stop on the training session for good.

Saturday, June 29

At 1:00pm we played the first tournament match against the SFWPC a very familiar team from the South Florida International Tournament from Coral Spring in February earlier this year. The opponent chose to pressure our attackers fully in the entire pool which left our center forward one on one with the SFWPC hole guard in front of the their goal. It was open season to Stearlin, Joel and Jonathan to deliver the game on a silver platter. However, we scored only a single goal in the first two periods. Stearlin waited too much with the shots, while Joel missed two back hands and the team missed several man up situations. Meanwhile, SFWPC run away with counter attacks and scored 4 goals all together. 4-1.

After half time Marcel drove and put away two counter attacks on the right wing bringing us back to the game. We scored two more goals from man ups and suddenly the score was 5-5 just 20 seconds before the end. Marcel tried another fast break but his back hand flopped flying toward the goal. The final outcome was decided by sudden death. When Stearlin lost the ball in hole the opponent scored the counter attack and we lost 6-5.

We played the first half of the match like a beginner team. We could have won the match in the first quarter. Bad passes and lame shots had peppered the play until we got our mojo back and fought back. Due to the repeated practice defense was good but the attack suffered from childish mistakes.

The second game was played against the host Scots. They played with their 18 & under team and they quickly pulled away 7-0 before we woke up. In the second quarter we played the defense we had practiced before and it worked. The half time score was 7-1. In the second half we started to attack with a different style. We utilized long passes from back court to front court, cross passes for catch-and-shoots and quick passes to the hole man. Some of them worked so Kadyn and Edward scored goals. Some of those passes were inaccurate which were exploited by the opponents counter attacks closing the game at 13-5.

Sunday, June 30

This day at 10:00 am we played MBI (Miami Beach International) for the third place in our Group B.

From the first moment it was obvious (to me) that we were the better team. Our defense cut off every possibility for the opponent to get to our goal while our attacks always finished with decent shots. Edward and Seaquan scored. 2-1

In the second quarter Joel scored one and Stearlin scored two goals but we allowed BMI to find little annoying goals when we did not defend discipline enough. 5-5

3rd quarter BMI got more and more confident as we failed to put this match away. Our shots just somehow always missed the opponent’s net. Only one more goal was scored by Joel on our side and another by BMI until end of the game. 6-6.

In the first extra time of sudden death MBI even had a 5m penalty which they failed to convert. Then in the second extra time Stearlin put away a man up situation and we won 7-6.

The second match of the day was played against the Puerto Rican Encantada for the 5th – 6th places.

  • 1q, Encnatada from hole 1-0

  • Seth kept a 5m penalty

  • Marcel fast broke and cross passed to Stearlin 1-1

  • After Seaquan weak shot Encantada counter attack 2-1

  • Marcel was turned in hole defense, 5m penalty 3-1

  • Marcel shot man up 3-2

  • Jonathan far shot 3-3

  • 2q, Encantada far shot 4-3

  • Two counter attacks 6-3

  • Two man ups well played on our side 6-5

  • 3q, Man down 7-5

  • Encantada counter attack 8-5

  • Man up 8-6

  • 4q, Man down 9-6

  • Joel far shot 9-7

  • Encantada hole man scored 10-7

  • Man up 10-8

  • Encantada player’s far shot 11-8

We played well, with heart and lot of enthusiasm. This kind of game experience is invaluable. I only can praise the guys for the fight they put out in this last game.

Monday, July 1

We started our long drive to Orlando at 12:00pm and we checked in our new hotel around 4:30pm. After some rest we drove to the pool to play against the host team Orlando United.

This evening our team played extremely well. The players defended well. The guys physically over-powered the opponents, stole balls from them, counter attacked and scored countless goals. They did this with a lot of enthusiasm while enjoying every moment of it. There were strong hole man job, far shots, cross passes, lob shots and even back hands. Everyone played a lot of time and the players came out of the water excited and pumped up by their newly found strength and self-esteem.

Tuesday, July 2

In the morning we drove to the Orlando YMCA at 10:00am and scrimmaged with the local YFC team. For warming up we played their B team and we quickly washed the floor with them. Defense worked perfectly. The ball was transitioned to the front court quickly and accurately then passes, shots and hole man work was utilized to score goals. Then Team A of YFC was thrown in the water. Those guys swam faster, threaded higher, passed more accurately and shot like a machine gun. The opponents stole our passes, counter attacked aggressively and shot powerful shots. Ten minutes into the massacre our guys started to pass more carefully and they watched out for the opponents’ counter attackers. Later Stearlin scored some goals from hole. Then we started to fast break and shoot our opportunities. By the second time the YFC A team rotated back into the pool we played with them equally. Nathan, Aaron and Kadyn worked excellent defense catching YFC fast breakers, double teamed the opponent hole man and blocked shots. Seaquan, Marcel and Stearlin worked the attack passing and shooting and played hole man hard. Aaron, Seaquan and Marcel transitioned the ball from back court with long passes. Aaron took big far shots and Nathan scored goal from catch-and-shoot, lobbing and straight shooting.

End of the game we shook hand with the YFC players, took pictures with them and we left the YMCA in a good mood. I praised the Bah players for their obvious improvement in the game.

Tuesday, July 2 evening

This evening we went back to the pool of Orlando United at Lake Highland at 6:00pm. After dry land warm up we spent half an hour passing and shooting. Beginning at 7:00pm we played the Orlando United Alumni team. They were basically former high school players of the team who now played in different colleges. Those big players really worked our guys over. We were tired anyway from the morning game while the alumni players swam and shot fast as it was expected. After the initial shock our players recovered, collected their composure and began to build their attacks. Before 8 pm we were on the same level with them. Aaron defended very well. Stearlin worked hard in hole shooting some and missing some. Edward and Nathan were useful to carry and pass the ball around and both of them scored goals. Marcel’s passes were off today but his fast breaks were all good and he made sure to finish his breaks with goals.

By the time the alumni team come out of the water and the young boys of United entered again we were on top of our game. Our players then started practicing counter attacks. Counter attack happens when the opponent loses the ball in front of our goal and our players swim up to attack so fast that they create a temporary man up or advantage situation front of the opponent’s goal. It is typically one fast swimmer against the goalie or two attackers against one defender. These situations are sought after as they are easier to score than against set up defenders. The counter attacker monsters were Saequan and Stearlin obviously. They rather attacked than defended anyway. But Marcel with his speed and Edward and Nathan by reading the opponent’s final attacking moments tried getting the edge for turnover and swim away. Even Aaron tried it once or twice.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

This morning we went back to the YMCS pool to scrimmage against the YFC water polo team. We played their A, B and female teams. The B team could not offer any resistance to us. The A team was very tough especially when they played man up or power play as the American call it. The female team consisted several decent looking ladies and this prompted our boys to showcase their best possible water polo game while behaving themselves as a gentleman.

Kadyn tried to play center forward. Joel and Saequan took a lot of hard shots. Nathan and Marcel swam a lot to create goal opportunities. Aaron defended well and counter attacked finally to score goals. Jonathan kept the goal and Seth played in the female match.

At 6pm we, as usual, went to Lake Highland School to train together with Orlando United. The Bahamas players were very tired this evening and it showed. We have been playing and training twice a week since last week Wednesday and now fatigue caught up with us. Fortunately we had Seaquan who never slowed down and several others like Joel, Nathan, Stearlin and Aaron who kept swimming, passing, counter attacking. Mistakes were made but our guys stayed in the water and they held up their end for two hours.

Thursday, July 4

In America’s Independence Day we spent the day resting.

Friday, July 5

This day we had training at 10 am at the YMCA. After the previous day off I kept an unusual long warm up by stretching muscles and ligaments, with dry land ball-handling and with extended swimming. Then we practiced different scenarios to play the ball into the center forward position. Then we spent some time on the man up situation. Finally the team was split into two 4-member teams and we played beach polo against two YFC teams in two fields simultaneously. We finished the session with 10 minutes shooting against the YFC Club’s goal keeper.

Saturday, July 6

In this whole day tournament we played the first match against the Orlando United Alumni at 11:00am. The score was Alumni –BAH 12-6. By quarters the goals were 5-0, 1-1, 2-1, 4-4.

We practically slept through the first quarter. From the second period defense started to work but we missed almost all of our goal opportunities. Stearlin missed penalty and Saequan missed everything except one spectacular goal he created by cooperating with Stearlin. We allowed too many man down situations which was put away easily by the Alumni team. While Joel and Nathan scored goals Aaron, Marcel and Edward did not contribute to the final tally. We could not win a game we had lost in the first 7 minutes. I am afraid the poor performance was due to lack of discipline for not sleeping in the previous night.

At 12:30pm the second match of the day was held against the host Orlando United High School, a team peppered with 18 years old players. In the 1st quarter we steamrolled them with Stearlin, Marcel, Aaron and Joel scoring goals and going to the intermission with 5-3 lead. Then we suddenly lost steam and slow down allowing United to catch up with us 5-5 by half time. Once more time we got the 7-6 lead in the 3rd quarter but in the process the boys lost their mojo somehow. They started to make mistakes. They gave bad passes and by the 4th quarter our defense had collapsed. Orlando shot 4 unanswered goals grabbing 10 -7 victory.

The 30 minutes break we got from the previous match was not enough to recover. We could not hold up the speed and the strength needed in the end of the game. It was a good fight with a bad result.

After another 30 minutes break we played Ovredo a team from a nearby town which sported everyone who played water polo there from a 13 year old boy through some girls up to a 25 year old huge center forward. The opponent managed to put 4 goals in Seth’s net against our two goals by half time. However, with Saequan’s two goals and with Nathan’s sneaky corner shot we equalized just before the 4th period to 5-5. Then Marcel and Saequan missed their fast breaks giving the momentum to Ovredo in the final minutes finishing us mercilessly to 9-6. It was once again a huge fight with sad end.

The last game of the tournament started at 3:30pm against the Serpents which once again brought everybody ever registered to their club. We opened the 1st quarter 2-1 while Joel missed a penalty. The second period belonged to Joel scoring 2 more goals. However we went to the half time rest with 4-4 on the score board. In the 3rd quarter the Serpents stepped away 8-5 from our tired team. In the final quarter we tried to give everything we got just to win one game:

  • Joel shot 8-6

  • Serpent hole man 9-6

  • Saequan penalty 9-7

  • Stearlin from hole 9-8

  • Serpent far shot 10-8

  • Stearlin from hole 10-9

  • Counter attack after passing mistake 11-9

It was an incredible nail biting fight up to the last second where we fall a bit short. Let’s hope a lesson was learnt at least. Congratulation to the Bahamian players.

I consider this 12 day training camp a huge success. The players elevated their water polo skill, knowledge and tactic once again to the next level. Their defense got organized. Understanding of the importance of good passes and accurate shots were established clearly. Most of all they played real game after real game where they were pushed to their limits both physically and mentally fighting for every goal and swimming every and each yard with full speed. Focusing from the first moment to the last whistle is yet to be perfected though.

  • Seth kept the goal better than before.

  • Nathan and Marcel used their speed to attack and scored decent goals.

  • Joel’s shots had become dangerous.

  • Edward build back some stamina and skill he lost due to long sickness.

  • Saequan and Stearlin scored many and missed many.

  • Aaron had become an excellent defender. He needed to attack more.

  • Kadyn tried to find his place in the team.

  • Jonathan did his job as captain very well.

I greatly appreciate the sponsor who gave us the opportunity to participate in these tournaments. And I could not have done my job without the two mothers / chaperons Vashni Carey and Brenda Wert who helped us through a lot of personal and organizational problems.

Coach Laszlo (Lotty) Borbely

August 24, 2013

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