Two weeks ago the term 3 Run and Gun Club Challenge took place at ASB Stadium in Kohimarama. It was a great showcase of young talent as 105 games were played throughout the two days. A total of fourteen different clubs participated, while a sausage sizzle and canteen was set up for both days which provided some great food as the days progressed. Clubs from all over Auckland such as Otara Orcas, Mangere Heat, Junior Rangers, Eastern Dragons, Pinoy Mavs and Clendon Cavaliers made both days enjoyable as all the kids had fun while showcasing their skills. On Saturday the U9 and U11 competition champions were crowned as eleven U9 teams and twelve U11 teams hit the court. All teams played hard during round robin play in their respective pools and the top two teams from each pool crossed over to play each other to earn a spot in their age grade finals. The same qualifying system applied to the U13 competition but in the U15’s the top two teams would make the finals. A 3rd/4th placing game was also played as there were only five teams.
In the U9 finals Otahuhu Taniwha faced off against West City Saints. It was a close game as each team traded buckets but in the end West City wanted it more and became the U9 Run and Gun champions. The U11 finals saw Orakei Tigers and Auckland Jaguars battle it out as both teams were undefeated throughout pool play and semis. It was a great contest as there were a lot of lead changes throughout the game. In the end Orakei Tigers made some clutch and crucial baskets in the dying minutes, which got them over the line to become the U11 champions.
On Sunday the U13 and U15’s competition tipped off as twelve U13 teams and five U15 teams competed to become champions in their respective grades. The U13 competition was close throughout round robin play but the two strongest teams met in the final. The teams were the Rosehill Raptors and Manurewa Timberwolves. It was great to see two teams from South Auckland battle it out, especially Rosehill as this was their very first Run and Gun tournament that they had participated in. After a whole day of basketball it came down to who wanted it the most and Rosehill pulled through in the end and got the result. The U15 competition saw great step up in skill level as each team had to show a do or die attitude due to the amount of teams. The top two teams who reached the final were Orakei Tigers and Manurewa Timberwolves. The game was close in the beginning stages but Orakei’s size and length troubled Manurewa as they were one of the smallest teams in the competition. In the end Orakei came away with the win, as they earned the title of term 3’s U15 champions. Both Manurewa teams should be proud of their efforts as they reached both finals.
All in all the weekend was great as participation and “having fun” was the whole aim of the competition. Seeing the children smile, compete and show sportsmanship to one another was wonderful to witness. A special thanks to all the parents, volunteers, coaches and managers for showing their support and making the tournament a success. ABSL looks forward to bringing you next term’s Run and Gun Club Challenge. Until then train hard, improve your skills and we’ll see you on the court next term!