Isle of Man Basketball Association organised a fun 3v3 tournament on Thursday to conclude its 2022 action before the winter hiatus.
With an open format for new and existing players, it provided an opportunity for league players to mix up their squads while some new faces took to the court in the friendly competition.
Played on a half-court, FIBA 3v3 operates to a slightly different ruleset to the normal game with shots inside the normal three-point arc worth one point, while shots outside the arc are worth two.
Play also continues directly after baskets, with no baseline inbounds and defences able to steal back the ball straight away.
Coupled with rolling substitutions and an eight-minute running clock (or first to 21 points), it leads to high-paced and exciting games.
That high intensity was on display as eight teams competed for 3v3 bragging rights in the round robin. There were plenty of inventive team names submitted but some were less reflective of reality than others.
Shooters & Matt tried their best but sadly their shooting form didn’t live up to the name and left them trailing at the end of the tournament, losing out to team Type 1 in a head-to-head for seventh and eighth places.
Some consolation came in that last game as Torryn Jones managed to bank a shot for Shooters from near the halfway line, much to the surprise and delight of the assembled crowd.
The tactical play of the night came from team Oksy Squared who found themselves in a surprise lead against Team K late in their match-up. Seeing the scoreline and time remaining, Becky Dunne called a timeout with less than a minute remaining.
Even though 3v3 timeouts are much shorter, the running clock meant that previous seconds were lost for Team K to stage a comeback and allowed Oksy Squared to take the win.
Team K were the hot tip for most of the night: consisting mainly of players who hadn’t played in the regular season, they arrived as an unknown quantity and quickly established their credentials with early wins against Type 1 and Chicken Nuggets - the latter name a nod to those players’ post-match McDonalds tradition.
Racking up the wins, it looked like Team K would take the tournament but a few bumps along the way led to an exciting climax in the final round, with Team K needing to win their game to match Chicken Nuggets’ record and take the overall title from their head-to-head result.
Thus the stakes were high as Team K took on Cavish, with both teams trying to keep the energy up after a night of energetic basketball.
Shots from Vannin Coulter and drives by Neil Domingo saw Team K take the fight to Cavish and it seemed the momentum was with them as the clock ticked down.
Solid efforts on defence by Daniel Dunajewski and Andy Cregeen helped stop Team K in their tracks though and soon brought Cavish level on points as the game entered its final minute.
Clever play and solid rebounding from Cavish gave them most of the possession in that final minute and allowed them plenty of opportunities to pull ahead, which they managed to capitalise on.
With the final buzzer Cavish held the lead, denying Team K the win and handing the 3v3 championship to Team Chicken Nuggets (who then headed off to McDonalds for a 20-piece sharebox).
l Basketball returns in early January with the Cup Competition before the regular season restarts in February.
The Cup Competition will take a different format with two running clock halves of 20 minutes and registration re-opening for new players and new teams.
If you would like to register a team for the January cup, or are seeking a team to join, then please reach out to ‘Isle of Man Basketball Association’ via Facebook.
l The Isle of Man Basketball Association would like to wish all players, officials and supporters a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.