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SA Inter-Service Tournament
Mid Aug 2020 @ EDN
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The 2016 SA Inter-Service Tournament was held at RAAF Edinburgh over period 1-2 Sep 2016. Six (6) teams competed from the Army, Navy and Air Force.
Inter-Service for the 16th Air Land Regiment came as the majority of personnel were away from Woodside Barracks. As a result the team had never taken the court together and players were not 100% sure who they would line up with on Day One of competition. The cohesion and teamwork exceeded all expectations as 16 ALR chalked up two early wins against the Air Force teams, SGT Matthew Muller and PTE Paul Fairclough leading with enormous efforts as the only big men in the team.
The 16 ALR transition of LT Jesse Voyer and SIG Jai Dinunzio was too much for Army Keswick and Navy and the penetration of BDR David Solano bolstered 16 ALR’s scoring in the later games. The twin towers Muller and Fairclough remained a formidable defensive force as 16 ALR travelled undefeated into the grand final; the team’s passing and movement improving with every game.
A gruelling schedule of five games each tested the endurance of all teams. The Air Force Team this year was a combination of players with some previous Basketball experience and also some newcomers to the game. All players involved showed great camaraderie and teamwork, and everybody had a good time mixing it up between the services beginning their tournament with a win against Navy. The Air Force 92WG team with their youth and fast legs surprised many, and at the end of the rounds, they were tied with Army 1 BDE (Edinburgh) and Army 9 BDE (Keswick) on an equal win-loss record. Army 16 ALR (Woodside) was the only undefeated team.
This year, with the increased size of the competition, the semi-final format had to give way, with a total of 16 games needed to decide this years champion.
The grand-final saw last years champs, Army 9 BDE (Keswick) emerge from the three way tie on percentage to face off against undefeated Army 16 ALR (Woodside). Precision offence from the defending champs from Keswick made best use of sharp shooter SIG Dan Aitchison and versatile swingman LT Michael Peachey, while CPL Anthony Portakiewicz dominated the laneway, orchestrated by little older brother SGT David Portakiewicz as point guard and coach.
16 ALR had the answers though, equally banging away at the boards, disrupting the offences they could. Sublime passing from LT Rob Cameron at point made best use of the open man whenever 9 BDE over committed. SGT Matthew Muller was in perfect sync with his point guard, making every basket count and likewise turning the ball out to the open shooters when needed.
With an elastic lead 16 ALR held the scoreboard pressure, albeit only slightly ahead leading into the final minutes. SIG Dan Aitchison connected and the lads from Keswick were rolling again inching back to within a single point. LT Rob Cameron, proved why he was the MVP for 2016 as he snuck in a three on a moments space and then led the defensive effort that got the pivotal stop. A tight 9 BDE defence was not letting anything through so with a shrug and a skip LT Cameron dropped yet another three from deep. The one point lead was now out to seven and the 2016 SA Inter-Service trophy was headed to Woodside. Final Score 44-35.
The two day tournament was an excellent display with a lot of strong teams and good players. It is shaping for a very promising SA Basketball Combined side with the high amount of talent that was shown at the tournament, to later compete at the 2016 ADFBA National Championships.
Details on SA preparations for 2016 ADFBA National Championships will be communicated via the SADB Members Facebook Group. Have you joined our Facebook Group? Click here.
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