LJ’s shoot their way to victory 

Basketball returns to Creekside in second annual 3 on 3 tournament

The parking lot at Franz’s Trail came alive on Saturday, Aug. 27 as the second annual 3 on 3 ELS Basketball Tournament returned to Creekside.

Expectations were high leading into the event and while only eight out of a possible 16 teams competed on the day, the crowd was kept entertained by the high standard of play.

Organizer Laura Birks was slightly disappointed at the turnout but was impressed at the level of competition and the etiquette the players displayed throughout the tournament.

"Even though there was the potential of having 16 teams in the competition, the upside of having eight teams compete on the day meant that each team got to play everybody," said Birks.

"I was impressed at the way the teams conducted themselves on court, the standard was good and I was humbled at the positive feedback that I received from a large number of players about the event."

The format for the round robin and playoff rounds was standard 3 on 3 street basketball rules. Each basket was worth one point and the first team to 11, or to reach a two-cap advantage after this point, moved into the finals.

Birks couldn’t have asked for a more competitive round of semi-finals, particularly the second semi-final game that saw Team Mike battle it out against Team LJ’s for a spot against The Pig Roasters in the championship game. The Pig Roasters beat Team Price in their semi-final to get to the championship.

While Team LJ’s finished up 13-11 victors in a game that saw each team go basket for basket, on-lookers were blown away by the impressive shooting of Team Mike’s point guard Michael Young, who hit a series of tough shots to put enormous pressure on the winning team and keep his team in with a chance.

The championship game was a little less climactic and saw Team LJ’s over power the Pig Roasters to an 11-4 victory. The Roasters were unable to handle powerhouse Josh Bibbs, who was unstoppable going to the ring, and the sharp shooting of his brother Seth. The combination gave the Roasters little opportunity to get into the game.

In the consolation final Team Price overcame a tired Team Mike to finish third and collect the bronze medal.

Overall, the tournament proved to be a success. Organizers, players and spectators alike were impressed at the standard of competition and the atmosphere that DJs, including headline act DJ Rob Banks, were able to bring to the court with their music.

Maximi Javallee, a member of Team Price was particularly impressed and vowed to return to the tournament next year.

"My teammates and I traveled up from Pemberton to compete in this competition and it was worth it," said Javallee.

"The weather’s been good, for the most part the teams have been pretty solid and the ambiance that the DJs brought to the court when we were playing was awesome. I’m sure that we’ll be back next year."

The competition was wrapped up with dinner and a presentation ceremony at Joey Chan’s restaurant in Creekside. Three major awards were given out that saw Denis Price receive the Most Hustle award, Michael Young the Best Overall Style and Darren Newton receive the coveted Steve Nash award.

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