U23 National Tournament
Last week the U23 Nationals were held at the ASB Arena in Tauranga on August 10th-13th. Three men’s teams from Waitakere West Auckland Basketball (WWABi), Counties Manukau Basketball (CMBB), Basketball Auckland (BA) and two women’s teams (WWABi and CMBB) represented their respective associations with pride. There was tough competition as expected from teams all over the country, which included Rotorua, Te Tai Tokerau (Northland), Taranaki, Waikato, Canterbury, Otago and old foes Harbour. All ABSL teams played hard and emptied their gas tanks which is the effort that all of the coaches could ask for.
BA and CMBB played in the 9-15th placing quarterfinals as both teams suffered tough losses during pool play. However both teams won their quarterfinal placing games. This meant that the BA men’s team played for 9/10thplace and CMBB for 11/12th place. Both games ended in disappointing results as BA and CMBB lost hard fought battles to Rotorua and Taranaki respectively. CMBB men’s had the chance to play against the Junior Tall Blacks (JTB) wider squad, who were preparing for the Oceania Championships. CMBB played well against the JTB’s which is one positive to take from the tournament as their loss was the smallest of margins compared to the other teams that faced the national squad.
WWABi played well during the tournament as they qualified to play in the 1-8th place quarterfinals. They faced eventual champions Harbour and left everything out on the court as they lost the game by only 7 points. WWABi played in the 5/6th playoff game and won a gutsy game against Mid North. This was a great result for ABSL as they became one of the top 5 teams in the country.
In the women’s tournament both WWABi and CMBB did ABSL proud as they valiantly competed against New Zealand’s best women’s teams. Both teams struggled during pool play as they failed to qualify for the semi finals, which meant they had to take part in the bottom 5-9 round robin. WWABi posted a record of 1 win against Harbour Black and a disappointing 4 losses. WWABi eventually placed 8th. CMBB had a great tournament, winning 2 games and losing 4. Their wins came against WWABi during pool play and against Taranaki during the round robin. CMBB eventually came in 6th place which is a great stepping stone into future tournaments.
A special mention to 3 of our ABSL representative players who were selected into the All- Tournament teams. Isaac Davidson of WWABi was selected into the all tournament men’s team while Maria Milani (WWABi) and Breana Jones (CMBB) gained all tournament team honours during the women’s tournament. All in all the tournament was a great experience for all players and will definitely be a learning curve as they try to bounce back stronger next year.
U23 Men’s Placing Results:
5/6th Playoff Game: WWABi 80 – 72 Mid North
9/10th Playoff Game: BA 89 – 101 Rotorua
11/12th Playoff Game: CMBB 55 – 106 Taranaki
U23 Women’s 5-9 Bottom 5 Round Robin Results:
CMBB 82 – 61 Taranaki
WWABi 47 – 118 Canterbury
CMBB 58 – 77 Canterbury
WWABi 70 – 84 Taranaki