VK Black and BC United set to represent B.C. at junior NBA Canada west regionals

Basketball action unfolding at Langley Events Centre this weekend sees two of nine teams advancing

VK Black and BC United have earned the right to represent British Columbia next month in their quest to be the Western entry at the Jr. NBA Global Championship Canada regional finals.

VK Black led from start to finish in their 59-34 victory against BC United in the U14 girls division, while the BC United boys team defeated squad 90-82 in the U14 boys division.

Both games were played Sunday at Langley Events Centre as Basketball BC hosted nine teams (three female and six male) through days of basketball action.

The two victors will now ready to face the respective Alberta championships in less than four weeks time in the Canada West regional.

Both those contests will be played June 1, once again at Langley Events Centre.

The winners of those games advance to the Jr. NBA Global Championship Canada regional finals June 13 to 16 in Toronto where they face the Atlantic (Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island), East (New Brunswick, Quebec), Prairies (Manitoba, Saskatchewan), and Host (Ontario) representatives.

At stake will be berths to the Jr. NBA Global Championship from Aug. 6 to 11 at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World near Orlando, Fla., which features eight U.S regional representatives and eight international regions (Africa, Asia Pacific, Canada, China, Europe and Middle East, Latin America and Mexico).

In Sunday’s girls final, VK Black led by double digits from the end of the first quarter onwards as they used a balanced attack which saw all 10 players find the scoresheet. The team was able to drive the line and draw fouls throughout the game, scoring 19 points from the free throw line compared to their opponents’ seven.

Alexis Hart led VK Black with 13 points and Marina Radocaj had a dozen while Kiera Pemberton was top scorer for BC United with 11 points.

VK Black had won their two round-robin games, defeating BC United 66-45 and knocking off VK Red 55-36 to secure a spot straight through to the championship game.

BC United defeated VK Red 64-48 in their first game and then again 53-34 on Sunday morning to see which team advanced to face VK Black in the finals.

The VK Black roster consists of Grace Bradshaw, Natalie Curley, Maggy Curtis, Alexis Hart, Caitlin Kippan, Malia Lenz, Marina Radocaj, Caleigh Reimer, Tia Rowell and Avery Sussex. Coaches are Paul Langford and Bruce Langford.

In the boys championship final, BC United trailed early but took the lead for good following the first quarter and never looked back, leading by as many as 19 in the game.

Declan Cutler and Mikyle Malabuyoc each had 18 points in the victory, with Malabuyoc scoring a dozen of those in the second quarter alone. Squad countered with 22 from Irish Coquia and 18 from Kaden Carrion.

Both BC United and Squad went 2-0 to win their pools. BC United topped Drive U14 Elite 69-50 and Flight Basketball 93-15.

Squad edged Split Second 77-75 and then won their pool with a 82-65 win over Drive LEC Elite.

Both BC United and Squad went straight to Sunday’s semifinals while the remaining four teams were forced to play and extra game. Squad would edge Drive U14 84-81 in one contest while BC United prevailed 69-50 over Split Second in the other to set up the championship final.

The BC United roster features Tarrence Booker, Andy Chen, Declan Cutler, Oseghale Ehizode, Marcus Flores Besseling, Brady Lau, Mikyle Malabuyoc, Arpan Sidhu, Gursharn Sran, and Zachary Zapanta. Coaches are Brian Lee and Rupi Dahia.

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