CASTRIES, Saint Lucia - The winning boys and girls teams from the national qualifier tournament held at Blue Mall in October 2016 represented St. Maarten well at the Antilles IBF U18 3x3 Championship Final. Although they did not take home the coveted trophy, Team St. Maarten proved to the Caribbean to be no pushovers.
The boys, with a 2-2 record, were placed in the most challenging Pool that produced the U-18 male champions (Martinique). The girls played a round robin tournament, facing all 6 teams, and made it to the semifinals with a record of 3-3 and eliminated by Martinique’s undefeated female team who won the female U-18 champions.
The tournament commenced on Saturday 25th with team St. Maarten boys in the opener playing against Guadeloupe and were defeated by one point. The boys went on to beat Trinidad 13-7 and St. Lucia 15-6 for the day. Their final game on the 26th was the decision maker to proceed to the semifinals, but they lost 8-3 to Martinique who eventually went on to win the male U-18 championship.
Guadeloupe vs St. Maarten: 10-9
St. Maarten vs Trinidad: 13-7
St. Lucia vs St. Maarten: 6-15
St. Maarten vs Curacao-13-0
Guadeloupe vs St. Maarten - 8-2
St. Maarten vs St. Lucia – 7-9
Martinique vs St. Maarten 13-0
Martinique vs St. Maarten: 8-3
St. Maarten vs Trinidad: 9-4
St Vincent vs St. Maarten: 5-9
During the intermission, a showcase of the player’s skills; a dunk and 3-point competition entertained the crowd.
Louis Fernandes, from team St. Maarten was favored to win after having established himself as the tournament’s most lethal 3-pt shooter. Louis was the first shooter in the 3pt competition and led with 4/10 balls until Guadeloupe tied. They both faced off in a tie breaker and Martinique ultimately won with 4 balls to Louis’ 2 in the final round. He did however receive the Most Valuable Leader award in the three-day Leadership workshop.
Kenya Hodge also represented St. Maarten in the dunking competition and electrified the crowd as he showed his vertical leaping ability and power slammed an alley hoop to himself off the backboard. It was the only dunk of the competition that received all 9’s by the tough judges. He was unable to successfully complete his second dunk to seal the win and that trophy went to Guyana.
It was an exhilarating experience for the teams with this fast-paced play that has been recently introduced to the region. The International Basketball Foundation has committed to continue this movement and sees St. Maarten as the next possible tournament host.