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Youths from 14 countries showed fighting spirit at the IBF Youth Leaders Basketball Cup Final in Bali
BALI - The IBF Youth Leaders Basketball Cup Final was held in Bali over the week-end, crowning the Philippines but moreover inspiring youths from the 14 countries present.
The event featured a Mixed U18 3x3 format with 16 teams from 14 countries tussling for the championship which was facilitated by the local organizing committee, 3x3 Indonesia.
The mixed format was an innovation and this pilot event turned out flawlessly. The quality of games were impressive and with the rules that were implemented such as set amount of playing time with 2 girls on court, the playing field was equal.
"We saw blocks and steals from girls on the boys. They worked that much harder and everything went well" explained David Crocker, FIBA Oceania Executive Director.
The Philippines won a rousing finale against Singapore at the Discovery Shopping Mall Centre in Bali, Indonesia on September 9. The team was made up of Kent Jane Pastrana, Neomie Therese Ayenga, Dominic Dayrit and Karl Kevin Quiambao.
"We are so happy to win the tournament because it was our first time here and we poured everything we had on the court. We had to go through a lot of tough teams to get here all the pain and sacrifice was worth it in the end," Pastrana shared.
"We are so thankful to IBF for this weekend, it was such a thrill for everyone. Before we came here, we weren't sure what to expect but now we are leaving tomorrow with heavy hearts because we are surely going to miss everyone,". Pastrana added.
The tournament was also accompanied by a leadership workshop led my Mthoko Madonda who has previously animated the Youth Leadership workshops in the Antilles IBF 3x3 Hoops Final and the IBF 3x3 Young Lions Cup. The players got to know each other before the competition began. The camaraderie the players built during the weekend was evident with the sportsmanship and respect they showed to their opponents.
"The youths came as 14 different countries, but as the day proceeded, we could see the barriers break down and everyone became a big basketball family" said David Crocker.
The workshop was also geared at teaching the youths ways in which they can use basketball as a tool to help their communities.
International Basketball Foundation (IBF) President Sheikh Saud Ali Al-Thani was present to share some ex his experience with the youths "I was happy to have the opportunity to be on the ground of one of our Basketball for Good projects. I was glad to see the participants taking the workshop very seriously. They are eager to go back to their respective countries and put the tools they learned to work" exclaimed the President.
The young leaders Tiyana Kainamoli from Fiji and Liamwar Rangamar from Northern Mariana Islands agreed, "The IBF youth leaders cup has stood out and inspired us. It not only engages interest and passion through basketball, but through the inclusion of the leadership workshop, it connects and bonds great friendships."
"We also had a beach cleanup activity, which allowed all participants to actively take part in a Basketball For Good activity and help give back to the local community of Bali who welcomed us so warmly" explained Theren Bullock Jr., IBF CSR associate.
This event was a real success and will set a precedent for future projects. This year's Youth Leaders will become mentors for the next year's group, inspiring and encouraging more and more youths to use Basketball For Good.
The IBF global partner PEAK supported the event with game uniforms and equipment and FIBA global partner Molten supplied the game balls.