The World Club Basketball Tournament was hailed a resounding success by host club Bexhill Giants.
Teams from the United States and the Philippines joined the domestic challenge over two days at Summerfields Leisure Centre in Hastings.
Event organiser and Giants chairman Eric Douglin said: “I was overwhelmed at how well the tournament went and the standard of play the teams brought to the event. I was privileged to have them take part.”
The eight competing teams USAF Lakenheath Eagles (USA), Great Britain Police, KAMPI Team GB (Philippines), Urban Elite Team (England), Lake Michigan Admirals (USA), USA Select I and USA Select II, and the Giants were split into two groups of four. The top two in each group progressed to the ‘A’ semi-finals, with those finishing third and fourth going forward to the ‘B’ semi-finals.
USA Select II topped group one with a 100% record. Lake Michigan Admirals were second, Urban Elite Team third and GB Police fourth.
USAF Lakenheath showed their class to top group two. USA Select II finished second, with the GB Philippines team third and the Giants fourth.
I was overwhelmed at how well the tournament went and the standard of play the teams brought to the event.Eric Douglin
The semi-finals were played on day two. The first ‘A’ semi-final was declared a walkover in favour of USA Select II over USA Select I.
In the other ‘A’ semi-final, Lakenheath started the stronger, but Lake Michigan pulled through to win 51-31 helped by some impressive outside shooting.
USA Select II and Lake Michigan put on a fantastic exhibition for an impressive crowd in the final, but the deeper squad of USA Select took control in the closing stages against the tiring Admirals to run out 56-49 winners.
The ‘B’ semi-finals were closely-fought affairs. Great Britain Police edged out Team GB Philippines 31-30 in a game played at a frenetic pace and the Giants pipped the Urban Elite Team 38-36 courtesy of a buzzer beater from guest player, Canadian high school star Mark Douglin.
The Giants came out all guns blazing in the final, opening up with a 10-2 run. The Police rallied and reduced their deficit, but could not quell the slick offensive moves of the host club as the Giants ran out 37-21 winners.
The tournament was opened by the Mayor of Hastings, Cllr Bruce Dowling, and day two started with a free youth coaching clinic run by the USA Select coaches.
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