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Australian duo awarded Most Valuable Players at BWB Asia Camp

CANBERRA (Australia) - Following four days at the Basketball without Borders Asia Camp at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra, Australia, Aussie youngsters, Lulu Laditan and Roman Siulepa were awarded Most Valuable Players. 

Returning to Australia for the first time since the camp was hosted in Melbourne in 2016, the BWB Asia Camp provided athletes with the opportunity to learn from the best coaches in the world while refining their on and off court skills.

When asked about the privilege of winning camp MVP, Lulu Laditan was humble and honored to even be taking part in the camp.

"It’s an amazing opportunity to even be at this camp, getting anything aside from that is just a side note because I have just enjoyed being here at BWB so much.  It has been an amazing opportunity learning from all the coaches and playing against everyone at this level has really helped my game."

"Annie La Fleur was my coach for the tournament, and she taught me about when to push the ball and when to slow it down, get it through hands and when to taking my scoring opportunities with my decision making.  I’ve enjoyed playing games with everyone and learning about the different cultures.  It was definitely good to have some of the girls that we played against at youths on my team, especially using the bigs inside during games and learning how other countries play, like Japan play with much faster speed which I enjoy playing."

Fellow Australian Roman Siulepa credited his MVP award to the Basketball Australia High Performance Program and coaches who worked with him prior to the camp. 

"My work here has paid off, I’ve been here (AIS) for a month, so I have to give thanks to the coaches and program in place here because prior to that I wasn’t as good as I am now so I’m pretty happy that my short journey has placed me here as the camp MVP."

Reflecting on the camp, Siulepa was nothing but praise for his camp coaches, David Akinyooye and Coby White and how the camp was coordinated.

"Dave and Coby touched on intensity both offensively and defensively, so it was cool to learn from them and apply that to my game.  It (the camp) has pretty fun and pretty cool getting to know the NBA players and working alongside them, because a bunch of what they say, you can see transitions into your game and it’s pretty cool to see how quickly that happens."

The other awards saw New Zealander, Maia Riley and Tajon Akira Jacobs from Japan win the Patrick Baumann Sportsmanship Award; Chinami Yokoyama of Japan and Australian Joshua Dent take home the Defensive MVP award; while Amy Kurkowski of Australia and South Korea’s Gwanwoo Lee were 3-point champions.

BWB Asia All-Stars

Girls: Lulu Laditan (Australia), Layla Cameron (New Zealand), Quinn Kacy Dela Rosa (Philippines), Lilly Taulelei (New Zealand), Chinami Yokoyama (Japan), Ruby Vlahov (Australia), Honoka Morioka (Japan) and Reina Fukuo (Japan). 

Boys: Jared Bahay (Philippines), Taiga Okada (Japan), Dontae Russo-Nance (New Zealand), Joshua Dent (Australia), Kaia Berridge (New Zealand), Roman Siulepa (Australia), Joshua Ibukunoluwa (Australia), Junjie 'Barry’ Wang (China), Lachlan Brewer (Australia), Rocco Zikarsky (Australia).