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.

Filipino festival set to attract a crowd

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.”

Ella Donald, from the victorious Hot Shotz women’s team, puts up a shot. Photo: Peter Jones.

Basketball titles decided

Woodbourne Wizards and Hot Shotz are Marlborough basketball’s 2019 men’s and women’s A grade champions.

The top echelon club finals were contested last week at Stadium 2000, alongside men’s B and mixed social grade deciders.

The Wizards claimed the men’s A grade crown on Wednesday, prevailing 99-78 over Marlborough Boys’ College senior A.

The victors led the scoring most of the way through, holding a handy 54-38 advantage at halftime.

The Woodbourne Wizards. Photo: Supplied.
The Woodbourne Wizards. Photo: Supplied.

Their top scorer was Sam Cootes, with 39, including three three-pointers, while Leo Wiapo contributed 20 and Ollie Baker 15.

Top scorers for the college crew were Max Macdonald with 23 points and Vili Pale, who dropped in 21.

Wizards’ captain Wiapo said his side had expected a tough encounter based on earlier meetings and that is exactly what they got. He underlined their “collective” defence as a factor, denying the students the chance to attack the rim and limiting their drives to the basket.

“That was due to our effort and good communication,” he said. “For most of the game we shared the ball and got good shots off … but mostly it was straight up effort. We dropped the ball in the third but managed to finish the game strongly.

“Congratulations to Tony Macdonald and the MBC team on a great season, they have been a pleasure to play and got stronger as the season went on. They have real talent in their team, the likes of Max [Macdonald] Torbin [Otway] Pops [Cody Popplewell] and young Vili [Pale]. With most of the team back next year they will be a really tough match-up, especially as we get older and slower.”

The women’s final, played on Monday evening, was a low-scoring affair with Hot Shotz prevailing 40-30 over Thunder. The winners shared the point-scoring duties around, Ella Donald leading the way with 13, Oriana Houra 7, Kelsie Fitzpatrick 6 and Stacey Hopkins 5.

Rochelle Hegglun provided the bulk of the offensive duties for Thunder, bagging a game-high 17 points, with Frankie Paulo registering 8 and Jenna Wallace 5. Hot Shotz led 26-23 at halftime.

The men’s B final was taken out by 1 Piece who downed Moose’s Men 64-61, while BWMC won the mixed social final 69-29 over Caesar’s Pleasers.


Award winners for 2019 season

Men’s A MVP – Jack McFaddyn (Picton Men); Men’s B MVP – Chris McMurtrie; Women’s MVP – Oriana Houra; Mixed Social MVP – Hamish Trembath; College Boys MVP – Mana Collins; Coach of the year – Danielle Blackmore; Bruce Atkinson Memorial Cup – Susie Witehira; Senior Basketballer(s) of the year – Tarin Mason and Danielle Blackmore; Junior Basketballer of the year – Pippa Witehira.

Power forward Jarred Moli drives towards the basket. Photo: Peter Jones.

Basketball reps underline skills

Marlborough’s representatives proved highly competitive during the under-15 basketball tournament staged at Marlborough Lines Stadium 2000 from Thursday to Saturday.

Teams from South Canterbury, West Coast, Nelson, Canterbury, North Canterbury and Buller joined with local sides to compete for Mainland titles.

Two boys teams from Marlborough took part, the A team finishing a very creditable fifth while a young Development side ended up 10th but learned plenty from their efforts at the higher level.

Marlborough under-15 player Quin Morten-Sands in action against Canterbury Metro. Photo: Peter Jones.
Marlborough under-15 player Quin Morten-Sands in action against Canterbury Metro. Photo: Peter Jones.

The Marlborough boys A team opened with a 75-42 win over North Canterbury White on Thursday evening, then played three times of Friday. They lost 80-68 to Canterbury Metro Red then went down 89-54 to a very slick South Canterbury combination before bouncing back to down West Coast 63-50.

In the ensuing play-off battle for fifth and six positions on Saturday they ran away from Nelson, prevailing 91-54. Top scorers in that game were Quin Morten-Sands with 22 points, Arama Hita (20), Jared Moli (14) and Massimo Romano (13).

The side was coached by Danielle Blackmore who said they had performed well, improving as the tournament went on.

Mana Collins may have been short of stature, but he was big in heart for the Marlborough side. Photo: Peter Jones.
Mana Collins may have been short of stature, but he was big in heart for the Marlborough side. Photo: Peter Jones.

“I’m happy with [where we ended up], it was a good result for us,” she said.

“The three games on Friday took its toll on us … by the end of that the boys were certainly feeling it.

“They came back strongly though on Saturday, fresher and back onto it, playing the way they usually played.”

Blackmore felt her charges had learned plenty from their season’s campaign, which included a previous win in a Westport tournament.

“Their game has evolved, working some different structures. In the first game we heavily relied on our post so it was good to see them work other areas of the court by the Nelson game, it was flowing really well by then and our defence was much improved.”

Conrad Tepania rises high to put up a shot. Photo: Peter Jones.
Conrad Tepania rises high to put up a shot. Photo: Peter Jones.

Blackmore singled out guard Quin Morten-Sands for his work throughout the weekend’s tournament. “He was very consistent and held us together … getting rebounds and shooting well.”

She also mentioned diminutive Mana Collins for his team ethic and ability to motivate his team-mates, noting that four or five members of the Marlborough team will be eligible to play in the same grade next season.

Blackmore also suggested the game was in good heart in Marlborough. “The results show that we are not far off the levels of the other provinces … it’s great to see all the numbers coming through.”

The Marlborough girls team edged out South Canterbury Development for seventh place, winning the play-off 68-67. The team fought hard after losing Pippa Witehira to an ankle injury in the previous game. They lost all their preliminary encounters, 74-49 to Buller, 71-35 to Nelson and 101-42 to South Canterbury A.

The team was coached by Susie Witehira who said that, “for a young side coming through they did really well”.

“They should be a force to reckon with at the same tournament next year.”

Both the girls’ and boys’ finals were fought out between South Canterbury and Canterbury Metro sides, with South Canterbury winning both, taking out the girls’ clash 100-51 and the boys’ decider 74-64.

Numbers up among basketball fraternity

There is a notable bounce on the Marlborough basketball scene.

Numbers are up this season, especially in the lower grades, reflecting a national trend.

Each week there is opportunity aplenty for young and older players to test their skills across a variety of competitions.

Five senior teams contest the men’s A grade, played on Wednesday night, there are eight sides involved in the Monday night men’s B grade, plus five sides take part in a highly-competitive women’s competition, also played on Monday.

The mixed social grade competition, a new addition to the winter league schedule, is contested by seven teams and is also contested on Monday.

The younger brigade fill the stadium three nights a week.

On Friday 28 teams pack the stadium to take part in the primary school boys competition, contested over four grades.

On Wednesday it is the girls turn, 10 primary girls sides doing battle over two grades, while five intermediate girls sides are in action along with five college girls teams and four college boys combinations in the college grade.

On Monday the intermediate boys spring into action, 14 teams contesting two grades.

Senior men’s teams:

No Fear: Richmond Sacay, Adam Balasouglo, Mark Yu, Ernesto Marcelino, Luis Novida, Jason Cruz, Brom Cabredo, Alroy Credo, Christian Bagayo.

Woodbourne Wizards: Ollie Baker, Sam Cootes, TJ Floyd, Noah Gosling, Jordan Maher, Jason Mamaradlo, Tarin Mason, Matt Pigou, Scott Robinson, Robbie Smith, Hayden Tysoe, Leo Wiapo. Coach Craig Searle.

MBC senior A: Max Macdonald, Cody Popplewell, Sair Guar, Torban Otway, Ben Theyers, Sam Morris, Blade Campbell, Alex Bulfin, Heath Lyon, Luey Hadfield, Jacob Sawers, Vili Pale. Coach Tony Macdonald.

Trail Blazers: Ben McLennan, Matt Wallace, Nigel Satherley, Cam Lane, Jake Southey-Taylor, Horouta Wilson, Joel Logan, Josh Reece, Ratu Scott.

Picton: Veejay Raizada, Donny Clarke, Jason Raizada, Tuku Reihana, Jack McFadden, Jonny Roberts, Daniel Baxter, Thomas Somerville-Smith.

Senior women’s sides:

Hot Shotz: Oriana Houra, Shannon McManaway, Stacey Hopkins, Jordan Peipi, Kelsie Fitzpatrick, Ella Donald.

MGC senior A: Kea Bradley, Lucrezia Bradley, Reanna Chalton, Jasmyne Henry, Zinnie Lloyd, Georgia McDonald, Tiria-Jade Paewai, Kate Thompson, Love Tikeri, Stella Roberts.

Thunder: Frankie Paulo, Laura Kate Morgan, Rochelle Hegglun, Jenna Wallace, Mina Kingma, Colleen Kem.

Trojans: Danielle Blackmore, Sandy Large, Pippa Witehira, Megane, Kate Faith, Rowie O’Driscoll, Shamatay Saavedra.

Queens: Erin Bunt, Jessica Cameron, Yuri Collins, Natasha Ford, Gemma O’Rourke, Emily Overend, Laura Woolf, Charlotte Ward.