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Queens’s Birthday Tournament 2009

During the weekend of 29th May and 2nd June, OSCA was invited to compete in the WCSCC Queens Birthday Tournament held up in Wellington. The team sent up to compete was a men’s team which held a range of skills, height, weight and age, with our youngest player being 16 and our oldest……double his age!

Saturday was when we had our first and only game of the day. It was during the afternoon against “Hwa Kwung,” which was a strong 2nd division team and supposedly used to be a team which played in the 1st division. We managed to put them down with great team work and by always communicating with each other throughout the whole game. This win propelled OSCA to the top of our pool with 1 win and 0 losses.

Sunday morning, we were up against the event organisers, the WCSCC’s, in a match that was both thrilling and intense. Sadly in the dying minutes of the game, WCSCC came out as victors. This meant that we had to win our next game to stay alive in the 2nd division playoffs of this tournament. Unfortunately this was out of our range because of the sheer size and skills of some Wellington teams. But our coach/mentor/point-guard/all-star/captain?? Henry Kuo thought that we could salvage some pride for the south by winning the 3rd division. Our next game was against the top team in pool A which was the Wellington Dragons who literally had people twice the size of our team put together! Our men put in a good challenge which gave us the lead during the first half, but after that the Dragons took off and in a very long 22 minutes came away with the victory. This meant that we had to win the next game (Semi finals) for OSCA to play in the finals.

The next game which was the semis was against a Wellington team which was called “Chow Mein”. This game had excited the whole team and put the players at their fullest as Chow Mein had as one of their team members: an on-off OSCA player named Jono Chen.  Again through team work and absolutely everyone giving their 100% we managed to beat them, kicking Chow Mein out and putting OSCA in the finals.

Monday morning, we all decided that we should wake up early and head to the WSCC stadium to watch other final games. And for us, the two high school guys, we felt really privileged to be part of the men’s team and even able to play in the finals up with the top dogs. Before long it was ten minutes before our game! So a meeting was called in the men’s changing rooms. Our Mentor/Coach Henry was discussing tactics and listing the starting five when a figure came into the room: Jono Chen. He had volunteered to help us win, so his job was to do all the subbing. So now the game had started. Our first minutes weren’t the greatest, but after that we were on fire taking a comfortable lead of at least 10 by halftime. The team tried to maintain this lead and with some outstanding shooting from Albert Yen and post moves from Chee Chang and also other contributing factors of the team, we won. Jono Chen did his job of subbing really well. Everyone was so happy and it was at least one of OSCA’s first wins over Wellington. As a prize, we were awarded a box of beers, which was consumed over a game of Cranium at the tournament organiser, Anthony Chiu’s place. We all had laughs and a good time to finish off the tournament.

The outstanding players of the team were:
  • Albert Yen with his Kobe-like Three pointers
  • Chee Chang - even though this man might be over 30 and wasn’t wearing the most comfortable shoes, he still had the moves
  • Point guard/captain Henry Kuo with some fierce driving, incredible dribbling skills and words of wisdom
  • And a special mention to Mu Chiao Lee, who doesn’t even come from Otago but he still played for us. He was a very good shooter and a big contributor to the mighty Blue and Gold’s victory.
  • And just the whole team did a great job.
And big thanks to Henry and the OSCA committee for organising and subsidising the trip. Overall this trip was well worth it for us two younger players to experience top level basketball and to develop our own skills for later tournaments.