3x3 Academy League Finals
Wednesday 22nd May
National Performance Centre, Manchester
Wednesday saw teams from all three Academy Leagues come together for the National Elite Academy 3X3 tournament. Teams from the Elite Academy Basketball League (EABL) competed in the Men's tournament, while the Women's tournament was made up of teams from the Women's Elite Academy Basketball League (WEABL).
Copleston, which is the home of Ipswich Basketball Academy, had a very successful day, with the Women winning the Final, and the Men finishing as Runner's Up.
The IBA Copleston Womens Winning Team: Susannah Rafiu, Ella Pearson, Charlotte Redhead, Esther Little
(Adapted from Basketball England)
The women's pool saw all seven teams battle against each other in a tight race to progress to the semi final with the teams moving forward only being separated by points difference.
The first semi final pitted Charnwood against Copleston. It was a tight contest all the way through but some great shooting leading to the final buzzer saw Copleston win and progress to the final.
The Second place in the final was battled for between JMA and Oaklands. The game saw JMA jump out to a quick lead and continue to build on this as they progressed into the final after a dominate performance.
The climax to the day saw Copleston battle back against JMA in a game which was decided on the last shot. Copleston produced a remarkable comeback, scoring three consecutive three point shots to tie the game and eventually win in overtime, with Ella Pearson's 'buzzer-beater' taking the game into the extra period and then Charlotte Redhead connecting on the game winner.
The men's competition saw all ten teams play against each other through 13 high paced rounds of games with each team battling hard to progress to the quarter finals.
The quarter finals continued in exciting fashion with all the players showing their individual talent and had four very deserving teams move onto the semis.
The first semi final placed EABL southern conference rivals Alec Reed and Copleston against each other. The game started out close with both teams trading baskets struggling to stop the great scoring from both teams. However, Ethan Price showed why he was named EABL MVP as he took over defensively and helped push Copleston into the final.
The second semi final pitted the Canterbury academy against the Manchester Magic in a tough game. Both teams played hard battling to score inside baskets as the score was kept close. As the game was came to a close the team from Canterbury stepped up the defence and hit some big shots to progress to the final and face Copleston.
The final showcased the talent of the players perfectly with both teams fighting hard as the score went back and forth with neither team taking control. This carried on throughout the ten minutes with both teams not giving up but, some tough defence from the Kent side saw them take the trophy through a narrow victory.