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3x3 Basketball Summer Tournament results

Michael Rameka —

The Secondary School 3x3 Championships got underway at the Trustpower Arena in Tauranga, in what was set to be the liveliest tournament to date.

The three-day event runs from Wednesday through Friday (March 27-29) and saw 128 teams compete across eight different grades. Days One and Two consisted of pool play, with finals being played on Day Three. A dunk contest and three point shootout was also be held at lunchtime on Day Three.

The tournament catered to two different age groups, across both genders, junior and senior and two different playing levels, open and elite.

National coaches Joshua Thompson (U18 3x3 men's coach) and Anthony Corban (3x3 women’s coach) were in attendance, keeping a watchful eye on the country’s next generation of talent. With 3x3 now an Olympic sport, players will appreciate the opportunity to be under the gaze of national selectors.

Day One saw both teams find the transition to 3x3 tough, with the junior boys the only team managing a win, against Raglan Area School (SPC 8-6 Raglan). Day Two saw both teams learning from their mistakes, playing with better structure and purpose. Our seniors had a better day, picking up two close wins against St Thomas (SPC 9-9 St Thomas), and Forest View (SPC 12-9 Forest View). Day Three saw our juniors playing off for 15th and 16th place in the junior boys’ open grade against Forest View High School. However, we were up to the challenge, winning 12-5, meaning that they placed 15th overall in the Open Grade. Our senior boys had a tougher day, having injuries to Riley Foster and Bryan Chap. We played the final round robin against a more athletic Whanganui Collegiate, losing the match 5-14, which saw them placed 26th in their division.

Both teams will be disappointed at having lost a few close games, which would have pushed the team into the top section. With all of this year's playing unit being their first time at this tournament, we look forward to attending this tournament next year, with a better understanding of the game.

Even having lost these close games, the team structure has improved tenfold and due to the new head coach, Jono Kraenzlin and the greater emphasis on fundamentals and higher expectations we should expect better results in the coming years.