In an undefeated season, College 2 joined Intermediate 2 as the Inaugural SMC 3×3 Basketball Champions in a close finals game against College 6.
Throughout the round-robin phase College 2 remained undefeated with 16 wins and 2 draws coming to Playoffs Week as the top seed and one of two teams set to win the competition along with second seed College 9 who had 13 wins, 3 draws and 2 losses. These two teams filled two semi-finals spots automatically.
College 6 became the third seed with 12 wins, 1 draw and 5 losses, having to battle sixth seed Shaqtin’ A Fool with 7 wins, 1 draw and 10 losses in a preliminary final match in which the winner advanced to a semis match against College 9. College 6 came out as the victors with a score of 11-6.
Meanwhile, College 2 awaited the winners of the other preliminary finals match between fifth seed Air Ballers (9 wins, 2 draws, 7 losses) and fourth seed College 8 (11 wins, 2 draws, 5 losses). In an overtime thriller, the Air Ballers advanced to the semis with a final score of 6-5.
In the semi-finals, College 2 doubled the Air Ballers’ score 12-6 becoming the first team to make the finals. Carsten Baring, one of College 2’s star players, talked about going into Playoffs Week and earning a spot in the final. “We felt confident going in but we just knew it wasn’t going to be easy and that we had to work hard to get to the finals and that’s what we did.”
College 6 turned the tables on College 9 and overcame the second seeded team with a close score of 7-6. College 6 and College 2 became the teams set to battle for the trophy.
College 6’s leader Lorenzo Flores talked about the top seeds. “Obviously, Carsten’s team were undefeated the whole season. We knew what they were capable of, but we just thought of them as another team to face. We just had to play our best and hope we got the win.”
The format for the finals had a much longer game having a 12-minute stop clock in which both College Teams 2 and 6 hoped to get the highest score after time expired or finish early by getting to 21 first.
The first half saw the teams trading buckets until College 6 eventually broke away to get the lead 6-10, despite not having substitutions.
“Obviously we knew the consequences we would face with no subs, and eventually tiredness started to halt us especially at the times we didn’t need it,” Lorenzo admitted.
The burden of not having bench players got the better of College 6, as they were missing shot after shot. However, College 2 didn’t give up and closed in on them. Having a 6-0 run to make a comeback by the time the buzzer rang, College 2 retained their top placing and won with a final score of 12-10.
“Honestly when we realised that we were down we almost lost hope,” Carsten remarked, “but we got it together and started hitting our shots one by one and also locking down on defence and in the end, we came away with a win.”
After 7 weeks of College 3×3 basketball, the final standings are as shown:
1. College 2
2. College 6
3. College 9
4. Air Ballers
5. College 8
6. Shaqtin’ A Fool
7. College 1
8. College 3
9. Why Not?
10. College 7
It has been a thrilling season of basketball this year, with the hopes of having another 3×3 competition next year. There is no doubt that next year’s 3×3 competition will have just as much action and excitement as this year!