Filipino festival set to attract a crowd

Several of the Filipino players who will be in action next weekend gathered at Stadium 2000 on Sunday to sharpen their basketball skills. Photo: Peter Jones.

With basketball being the national sport of the Phillipines, it is little wonder that enthusiasm is running high for next weekend’s 2020 All Filipino Top of the South Sports Festival.

The annual Labour Weekend tournament involves teams from Marlborough, Nelson, Motueka, West Coast and Hurunui and is in its third year.

This year Marlborough hosts the popular event at Stadium 2000 on Saturday and Sunday, October 24-25.

There will be 10 basketball teams in action, plus three volleyball teams showing their skills.

Nelson and Marlborough have contested the final in the two previous tournaments, with Nelson teams winning both by a very narrow margin.

Tournament organiser Jayson Cruz expects over 200 people to pack the stadium on the weekend.

“All of us have been looking forward to this tournament every year. Luckily back on level one we can continue the tradition.

“We also have a Filipino gathering for all players and families of all involved starting at 6pm on Saturday, offering a chance for everyone to meet and greet.”

Teams will parade at the stadium first thing in the morning with the national anthems of the Philippines and New Zealand being played, followed by welcoming speeches.

Semifinals and finals will be played on Sunday, semis in morning around 10.20am and the final scheduled for 3pm.

There is also a three-pointer shootout competition planned before trophies are presented.

“Filipinos love their basketball”, added Jayson, “it is the national sport, and you can see Filipino teams competing in the local stadium competitions.”

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