SJC rules in Suva

THEIR sacrifice to travel to Suva and play their pool games paid off as newcomer St John’s College shocked the Capital City schools with a shocking win in the under-19 secondary school zone basketball competition on Saturday.

The Levuka-based school’s basketball team met Gospel High School in the semi-final and crush favourites Yat Sen Secondary School’s hope 27-22 in the final.

Following their U18 rugby union team which has been making waves in the Eastern Zone of the Coke Zero Deans Trophy, the team wants to stamp its mark too in the basketball arena.

The team was coached by Shawn Luke, a volunteer from the US and Patrick Kamsoo and is managed by Josese Nasere and Brother Maselino Kolio from Samoa.

The team has a mixture of Pacific Islanders from Nauru, Tonga and Fiji.

Kamsoo said the main reason why they joined the Suva competition was to give the team more game time and improve on their skill-set.

“Hopefully we can include a girls’ team in the Suva competition next season,” Kamsoo said.

Kolio said it was a great experience for the boys to play in their first basketball competition.

“We weren’t expecting a win as we were invited to come and play and to gauge exposure and experience,” Kolio said.

“This is our first time participating in the Suva secondary school basketball competition and our boys don’t know the skills and it was a learning curve for them.

“The games were really tough knowing the Suva schools based team such as Yat Sen and Gospel they have been playing basketball since primary school and for us to come and play against them was good experience for us,” he said.

Previously they only participated in the Fiji Secondary Schools Basketball National Finals in 2015 and 2016 in the U17 grade. The team was hosted to a rousing reception by the school yesterday at Cawaci where a welcome ceremony was done to welcome the team back and celebrate their win. They will be fielding the same boys U19 and a girls U17 team at the national tournament this year.

The scores from Saturday are:

Semi-final: SJS 12- Gospel High School 10, final: SJS 27 – Yat Sen Secondary School 22

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