LUNAR NYC AND NY TITANS EACH HAVE THEIR DAY BUT CANADIAN BASKETBALL LEADS THE WAY
The NY Titans and Markham shake hands after the championship game
The 35th Annual NACBA Invitational Basketball Tournament held over the Memorial Day Weekend was highlighted by the victories of two local New York basketball organizations: LUNAR NYC (formerly the USAB Warriors) and the NEW YORK TITANS. In the action packed Men's Open division (the NACBA's highest rated division), Coach/Founder Bill Chan and his Lunar NYC took the coveted championship and the title of "NATIONAL CHAMPIONS" by defeating the Toronto Huskies, 59-35. Led by the outstanding play of MVP Joe Vines and team members, Sabatino Chen, and Austin Yuen, this trio was unstoppable.
In the Junior Men 18-under division, it was the New York Titans who took home the coveted championship by defeating the Markham FCCM team, 38-31. It was the first national championship for the Titans organization as founder/organizer Leo Lee and his coaches have steadily built a powerhouse in only a few short years after a break of 15+ years. Coach Tommy Cheung is especially proud as his son, Preston Cheung took MVP honors and displayed and exciting brand of team basketball.
REPEAT!! That’s the word in the Women’s Open as the Toronto Warriors held off the host city Montreal Magic 40-38 in a memorable matchup of two of the best from the east coast. Capturing its second championship in as many years, the Toronto Warriors will be looking to 3-peat in Dallas in 2016.
It was all Vancouver Strathcona in the inaugural Girls 18u division as they went undefeated, 5-0 to capture there first Chinese National Championship. They roared through the preliminaries dispatching their adversaries by a 25+ margin. But it was not to be in the championship game as the NYC Mini-Sabres came to play. The girls defensive effort kept them in the game and when the final buzzer sounded, Strathcona came away with a 25-20 victory. These girls definitely “GOT NEXT” and hopes are high that many other NACBA member organizations will field a Girls 18u team in 2016.
In the past few years, Canadian basketball has made its way to the NBA and the NCAA as evident by the success of ballers like Andrew Wiggins, Nik Stauskas, Anthony Bennett, and Kelly Olynk, just to name a few. At this year’s National Tournament in Montreal, the dominance of Canadian basketball lead the way as they took home 6 out of the 8 championships. In addition to the Women’s and Girls 18u winners mentioned earlier, teams from the Toronto CCYAA captured the Men’s 35+, Men’s Old School and Boys 15u championships. Markham FCCM added to this with their victory in the Men’s Friendship division.
It was the Toronto CCYAA repeating in the Men’s 35+ division led by the play of NACBA Top 30 player, Richard Zhu. At the tender age of 48, he’s still taking the youngsters to school every time he steps on the court. With a squad deep with talent, Stan Ong, Albert Tseng and a host of others, they were everyone’s favorite to REPEAT. In the championship game they ran into a much determined NYC team, the Tristate InvAsian who played them even at the end of regulation only to succumb in overtime, 44-38. Toronto has captured 9 titles in 12 years but who knows what’s in store for 2016 as the NACBA has realigned its age groups. Go to facebook.com/nacba and search for the blog written by Stan Ong about the Toronto CCYAA dynasty.
Old School is the newly named division we’ve given to the 50+ over division. Thanks to the networking of host organizer, Richard Chin, a record setting 10 teams cam to Montreal to hoop it up. The Ottawa Amigos and Canton United were the newbies. It was nice to see so many familiar faces making a return to the tournament after being MIA for 10+ years. With wives, sons and even mothers watching, it’s remarkable how much passion these players have for the game. The finals pitted the two undefeated teams in pool play (4-0), the Toronto CCYAA and the East Coast Elite (a collection of NJ Pirates, NY Titans and NY Rockits players). It was Toronto from start to finish as they consistently held onto a 8+ point cushion to capture the championship, 33-21.
It was widely known that the team to beat in the Boys 15u division was the Boston Hurricanes as they had dominated play on the east coast leading up to Montreal. Surprise, Surprise as the youngsters from Toronto CCYAA captured yet another championship by narrowly defeating the Hurricanes, 54-50. As teams retool for next year, hopes are high that there will be additional teams coming to play.
Finally, it was Markham FCCM, another team from Toronto, who took home top honors in the Men’s Friendship division. A division that fielded a record setting 21 teams including the 2014 champions, the Chicago Dragons. With many of it’s core squad returning to play in 2015, it was expected that the Dragons would repeat. But Markham would have none of that as they captured their first championship in the Friendship Division.
Thank you to Richard Chin, Casey Wu, MMAC (Montreal Mynix Athletic Club) and its volunteers for hosting a wonderful event.
Hope to see you in Dallas, Texas in 2016. The NACBA and Team Dallas will be looking to show you “A WILD TIME”.