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This past October 8th, the Philly Suns 15U and 18U, made their way up to Lycoming College to compete in the one day tournament hosted by NY Rockits. The early morning commitment to ride up for three hours, starting at 6AM, did not deter the 15U eleven-man team and the 18U six-man team to run their hardest in each of the three division games and the semifinals. Harry coached the 15U team. Alfred coached the 18U team.

With Harry leading the 15U team, the 15U had a 1-2 record and sprinted relentlessly in the semi-final game, resulting in 51 points against KSANY’s 64 points. Having 11 players, the Suns 15U subbed frequently to push the ball down the court in attacking the basket against KSANY’s six players.

At the end of the first half, KSANY led the suns 47-39, despite a balanced effort from the suns team. The leading scorers were Allen, Siah, Jonathan and Calvin. Allen’s 20+ points from the paint in the game was a testament to the team’s commitment to play as a team. Jie and Evan led the team as the primary point guards, and Percy, Perky, Iverson, and Nathan played as the shooting guards and small forwards. Andy teamed up with Allen as center.  No doubt, the unsung heroes of this game were the selfless passes and screens that others offered up to open up these opportunities for one another.

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At the same time, the 18U team fought long and hard with a six-man team. With Justin Lai at the helm, he commanded an offense with teammates, Victor, Brandon, Alex, Justin Kang, and Dylan. Together they battled first against the NY Rockits 1 team despite a loss.

In their second game, the Suns 18 U came out roaring in the first half. With a couple of good looks from Brandon and Justin Kang, the Suns were easily able to dish the ball out to Justin Lai, enabling him to outrun the Cruisers in a series of fastbreaks. Justin easily weaved through traffic for several amazing layups, allowing the Suns to start out with a 11-0 lead. With an even hand, the Suns moved the ball among the team and was able to finish the half with a 15-03 lead. Yet the Cruisers adapted willfully and came back in the second half with an overload scheme that began to threaten the team with foul trouble. Despite the resurgence and the determined effort by the Cruisers, Justin artfully led the team to avoiding turnovers as the Cruisers pressured for the ball in the last two minutes. The nail-biting game finally ended with a Suns win over the Cruisers, 27-25.

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The Suns 18U team ended the day by playing the NY Rockits 2 team for their final two games- both in the division and in the semi-finals. In both games, the Suns 18U held their ground and was within three points of both games in the first half, with the Suns up one point in the first game. Unfortunately, despite frequent hydration, the Suns players began to cramp up in the second half, and the NY Rockits pulled ahead towards both wins. Despite the lack of fresh players, the team was able to give the Rockits a run for their money, with good rebounding efforts by Dylan, Victor, Justin Kang, and Alex. Together with a quick dish to Justin Lai, he broke out with fastbreaks to the hoop, forcing the Rockits to foul him numerous times. Both Brandon and Justin Kang produced outlets and they were both found to connect with several three’s as well.

Together, the Suns 15U and 18U teams found themselves to have competed in this tournament, giving their all in sprinting and playing hard. By no means did the teams play perfectly, but they demonstrated a commitment to hustling and learning to improve through discipline. Until the next test, they are back in their commitment to practicing and improving their skills, to ultimately prove themselves as the Suns team.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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