As it stands, the host island will play Saaremaa, from Estonia, for the gold medal, with no other teams signed up for the biennial competition.

It’s a source of frustration for Roderick Spencer, one compounded by the postponement of this year’s Caribbean Basketball Championship until 2014.

Bermuda are the defending Island Games champions, having beaten Saaremaa 76-57 in the 2011 tournament on the Isle of Wight, a county of England.

Spencer told the Bermuda Sun: “It’s frustrating because the whole programme is built around a two-year cycle.

“This is the culmination of it, the Island Games and the CBC, and that is now not really going to happen in the competitive sense. It’s put a bit of a damper on the whole development of the team.”

Spencer believes the Island Games is paying the price for a knock-on effect once teams started withdrawing, citing the high costs of travelling to Bermuda.

He said: “It’s very easy to throw the cost  factor out there. It’s more for them to come here than for us to go there — it’s easier for the Bermuda players to absorb that. But really all they need is their plane tickets — their accommodation is paid for. It’s not as expensive as some of the figures that have been thrown about — but it is still expensive.

“About half of the teams are not coming because of the cost and the other half aren’t coming because they saw the other teams that aren’t coming. It snowballed.”

Spencer remains hopeful Cayman Islands might still compete now the CBC is not happening this year.

But he said: “With Cayman not in the CBC I hoped they would get to the Island Games, but I think it will take some initiative on our side for that to happen. Unfortunately, that’s not my area, I just coach the team.”

He added: “I really don’t know what efforts they are putting into that. The conversations I’ve had with various people, it seems they have resigned themselves to what they have.”

Buffalo tour

The coach takes his team to Buffalo, New York, on Friday for a training camp and to play two games against Buffalo Warriors — a professional team owned by Bermudian Terrence Dill.

“We were planning this trip before we knew [of the Island Games numbers] and it was going to be our big build-up. We were anticipating it would be a bit more casual,” said Spencer. “We’ll take it a bit more seriously now.

“They appear to have a very high-powered offensive team – they’ve scored over 110 points in every game they played so far. We pride ourselves on our defense so it will be a good test.”

He added: “It’s good to get everybody together where they can just focus on the sport.”