Tournament preps players for overseas
Battle In Jamaica Basketball Tournament organiser Ludloo Barker says that he hopes that all objectives set out at the start of the competition will be met when it wraps up on Saturday.
The competition, which is in its first year, tipped-off at the University of Technology auditorium yesterday.
The tournament, the result of a collaboration between CMS Sports and the University of Technology, will give young players good preparation for the CENTRO tournament next June and will continue the development of Jamaica's basketball, especially young players.
"We have no preparation for CENTRO, which is going to be tough, and, if we are going to send any of our Jamaican players, they need to be ready. JABA have the boys two Saturdays out of every month, and we have the best U-16 players together with different coaches from different conferences and getting them prepared, and this tournament will get them exposed to international competition and a high level of doing things," he said.
The inclusion of Canadian Under-17 team Brampton Elite is an added bonus for Barker, who says that this will help the players get a feel for international competitions.
"We are looking at CENTRO and the development this tournament could help bring and the experience it will give our players. They will feel (what it is like to play against) an international team that is well coached, and that should give us problems and some things to figure out. But the experience will be good - win or lose," he said.
"But we hope this will continue to develop basketball because the more you play, the more experience and exposure they get, especially at a younger age," he added.
Jamaica College, Calabar, Cornwall College, and Brampton Elite will contest the under-16 championship. Calabar, Ardenne, and St George's College will vie for the under-19 crown, while Division One teams Spartans, Panthers, Camperdown, UTECH, and EXED will compete for the men's open championship. Teams will face each other in a round-robin format in their respective groups from Wednesday to Thursday, with the semi-finals and final set for Saturday.
Barker noted that more teams were slated to participate, but the holidays caused some to pull out.
"This is the holidays, so the teams could not get their players. St George's wanted to have teams in both Under-16 and Under-19. St Catherine and Old Harbour were hoping to field their teams; Herbert Morrison couldn't find transportation; and at Knox (boarding school), most boys have gone home for holidays. So we are wondering if we should have it in August and we will probably get more participation," he said.
The winning teams will receive trophies at the end of the competition.