A new era of junior basketball in WA was on display at the Muzz Buzz WABL 3X3 Championships, 4 June 2018 at the Bendat Basketball Centre. The event was the first of its kind, bringing together 8 Associations who nominated 30 teams across 3 divisions.
Under 16 Men
Champions: Perry Lakes Hawks (1950 ranking points)
Runners Up:Lakeside Lightning (1650 ranking points)
The Perry Lakes team, comprised of U16CHM WABL players made the most of their ‘home court advantage’ as they went undefeated for the whole tournament. The made quick work of the teams in their Pool, and then dominated their Semi against FDP White to set up an exciting matchup against the undefeated Lakeside. The game went down to the wire, with Hawks prevailing 13-10 to prevent a Lakeside sweep of the Championships.
Under 16 Women
Champions: Lakeside Lightning (1950 ranking points)
Runners Up:Stirling Senators (1650 ranking points)
Lakeside went undefeated throughout the Under 16 Women’s division, managing to hold off some serious competition in East Perth in the Round games (9-8) and Willetton in the Semi-Final (11-7). That set up a Grand Final against Stirling, who also had a strong tournament, however Lakeside were too strong as their WABL 16CHW representatives combined to win 10-6.
Under 18 Men
Champions: Lakeside Lightning
Runners Up:Kalamunda Eastern Suns
The absence of several Perth teams resulted in the Under 18 teams playing a best of 5 series which went the whole way. The Lightning team which featured U18CHM representatives ended the series 3-2, resulting in them taking the U18 WABL 3X3 Championship in 2018.
The day showcased 3X3 in its truest element – fast-paced, exciting and competitive, while the sportsmanship shown by all the teams was phenomenal. Several Future Development Program (FDP) teams entered the tournament, with most players being just 12 years old, competing against players 2 or 3 years older. The teams played extremely well, with 2 teams making the Semi Finals of their division.
BWA Development Manager Keegan Crawford expressed his approval of the tournament, and the opportunity it provided his young development players.
“The event was really professionally run and the level of competition was great. Our players enjoyed the tournament immensely despite being considerably younger, and I think 3X3 has a place as a tool that we can utilise for development.”
WABL League Manager Darrsh Clarke was extremely pleased with the final product on display, run in conjunction with the 2018 SBL All-Star Games.
“We as a League are quite proud and satisfied with the tournament that we have delivered. What started as an idea just over a month ago really took off thanks to the support of the participating 8 WABL Associations and our 3X3 and Community Programs Officer Krittika Divadkar. I am optimistic that this concept will only get bigger.”
The 2018 WABL 3X3 Championships was proudly supported by Muzz Buzz, who allowed the tournament to reach a professional level well received by the basketball community. Basketball WA envisage that this competition will feature annually on the basketball calendar.