A free-throw four seconds from time secured Bermuda's basketballers a shot at gold as they beat Rhodes by a single point yesterday.

Dean Jones held his nerve to sink the crucial basket as the semi-final game went right down to the wire.

The Greek islanders had clawed their way back on to level terms with the game tied at 76-76 in the final minute when Jones was fouled.

The big-man missed one of his shots, but sank the other, to give Bermuda victory by a single point and send them into the gold-medal match against Menorca on Saturday.

"He should have sank them both but I guess we'll settle for one," quipped a surprisingly cool Bermuda coach Roderick Spencer after the game.

"The game was a little bit closer than it should have been. We made a few mistakes down the stretch but the bottom line is the guys got the job done.

"It's always a little nerve racking when it's a tight game but we were actually in control for most of the match.

"A lot of their scoring opportunities came from lapses in concentration and mistakes that we made.

"Unfortunately those mental lapses came towards the end of the game and we almost let them back into it."

Chris Crumpler led the team in scoring with 24 points while Jones chipped in with 17.

Jason Simons hailed

Spencer also hailed the contribution of Jason Simons, who nailed four consecutive three-pointers in the second quarter.

Yesterday's result means Bermuda is guaranteed at least second place in the gold medal group, featuring the three winners from the qualifying groups.

Rhodes, who also lost to Menorca, have to settle for bronze and Saturday's game - a repeat of the 2007 final - effectively becomes a shoot-out for gold.

"Last time they beat us by two points.

"It's going to be a battle. Both teams play pretty hard, physical basketball.

"Menorca play a very similar style to the team we played today so the approach will be pretty similar.

"All the teams we play at this stage, have several European pros, or former pros, so the level is pretty good. It just comes down to how we execute on the day."