2023 finally saw the return of the highlight of the Basketball season and a welcome return to Beijing for three days of top level competition. Both teams were very young this year so it was always going to be a learning process for all.
The newly formed girls team arrived with hardly any experience (or height!), further hampered by injury they started the competition against top seeds and eventual winners ISB Dragons and incurred a heavy loss. From that point they gradually started to gel and got better and better. In a feisty battle for 3rd place they faced Concordia Phoenix, a team they had lost to in the group stage. This time the story was very different, tournament top scorer Ria Ng started to bomb in 3pt shots from everywhere and the Sabres girls ran out worthy winners 38-23. A huge achievement.
The boys started against ISB Dragons as well. Up early they somehow managed to surrender a lead and lost a close one. The second game of the day saw the boys playing the Lions from Dulwhich, the outsized Sabres were in control of the game until the last minute and again managed to lose by just 4 pts. The next day they were up against eventual finalists Concordia Phoenix and turned on the style, Hayden Leung found his range and the Sabres recorded their first win. At the end of the group stage 4 teams were tied. On count back STC played ISB again and this time the boys got a big lead, however the demons returned and we lost again in the dying minutes.
Also big congratulations to Hayden Leung, Luke Robinson, Sylvia Law and Ria Ng, who were voted into the 12 best players in the tournament.
Overall it was a huge success, over 80% of the squad can return again next year and there is an exciting crop of young players waiting to get their chance to.
Well done to all!
Mr Webster & Mrs Pharoah