Island Basketballers Shine
Phillip Island & District Basketball Association (PIDBA) had five Phillip Island Rips representative teams enter the 2019 Eltham Dandenong Junior Basketball Tournament over the Australia Day long weekend. The world's biggest junior basketball tournament, it features 1,300 teams from U10 to U20 boys and girls from across Australia and New Zealand.
The PIDBA U12.1 boys, U14.1 boys, U16 boys, U18 boys and U14 girls Phillip Island Rips teams all had a range of results, however with great success in all their rounds the U12.1 boys and U14.1 boys played well in their Pool to make the Grand Final in their divisions.
Undefeated, the U12.1 boys Phillip Island Rips team went into their grand final game against Sandringham U12.5 boys with some confidence from their great run throughout the tournament, however the game was tight at 8 points each 10 minutes into the game. At half time the Island was up 17 to 12, but it was still anyone's game. With seven minutes to go the scores were 29 to 17 with the Island still leading and kept their opponents from scoring for the remainder of the match to take a 36 to 17 point win. Xavier Osmond top score for the Island followed closely behind by Jeremy Kelly who was also voted MVP for the grand final game. Teammates Austin Finlayson, Nathan Patch, Sam O'Garey, Max Nicka, Perry McKay and Mitchell Hudson also contributed through getting some valuable baskets and great defence. Coach, Kris Funslow was very pleased with their great teamwork and energy, which helped them secure their grand final win.
The U14.1 Phillip Island Rips boys fought hard in their grand final game against Dandenong U14.2 boys, however missed out with a 44 to 35 point win going Dandenong's way. Isaac Savona was the top scorer in the grand final game for the Island, with help from brother Leo Savona, Sonny Merryfull, Joel Robinson and Anthony Petropoulos. Coaches Nathaniel O'Brien and Chris Savona were pleased with how the team played during the weekend to have secured a spot in the grand final against another great team.