ORIBA De Freitas returned home over the weekend disappointed but optimistic after his maiden semi-professional outing in Antigua. He was awarded the most outstanding player of the final game for his defensive heroics (4 points,16 rebounds and 9 blocks) despite his team LJ Northside Stingerz losing 3-2 (69-57) to F&G Trading Cutie’s Ovals Ojays in the best of five game final of 2019 Digicel Antigua and Barbuda Basketball Association (ABBA) Division 1 League.
The 6’10 inches, 250lbs De Freitas, who played the centre position, was a “Defensive Bully” all season, which resulted in him topping the charts in both rebounds and blocks. His average for the season was (6.3 points, 12.6 rebounds, 2.1 blocks and 1.6 assists).
The 29-year-old attained a basketball scholarship and completed a Business Administration Degree in 2015 from the California State University, Dominguez Hills, California.
Commenting on his experience in Antigua, he said, “I loved Antigua culture, the people are very welcoming. The organisation I played for was genuine and I certainly have no problem going back and playing with them. It’s my new home away from home!”
He added, “The tournament was a good experience and exposure for me to showcase my basketball talents. Although my team lost in the finals of the tournament, it was still a successful year for the organisation and myself, the goals I set for myself was accomplished.”
De Freitas is hoping that next year more of his countrymen will be able to join him. He said, “ I should more of an impact on opening the door for young TT basketballers to come and play in Antigua in the future.”