Seventeen teams register for SMYBF tournamentPOSTED: 02/6/11 7:22 PM
St. Maarten – The starting whistle on the 2011 St. Maarten Youth Beat Foundation Basketball Tournament sounded on Friday in front of an impressive crowd. Seven of the 17 teams that have registered are primary schools and the other ten are secondary schools.
St. Maarten Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport Rhoda Arrindell is pleased that the tournament targets young people between 10 and 24 as this aligns with her vision.
“There is no doubt that basketball is one of the most popular sports on St Maarten. I commend the efforts of the St Maarten Youth Beat Foundation to engage our youth in this sport and I note with satisfaction that the goal is not only one of recreation, but also to develop them into becoming elite performers,” Arrindell said.
Director of Sport Les Brown threw the first ball to declare the tournament officially opened on behalf of the Minister. After two tries he managed to get the ball into the nets. Prior to the start of this year’s tournament, the winners, sub champions and MVP’s from the 2010 tournament were presented with their trophies and medals. The 2010 champions at the Secondary level was MPC 2 and the Sub champions were the Lycee Polyvalent from the French side of the island. In that category Jose Helliger was named Most Valuable Player (MVP). In the Primary division, the champions are Ruby Labega and the sub champions were the Seventh Day Adventist School. The MVP in that division was Cesar Rodriguez.
In the first game of the season, Ruby Labega defeated the Sister Genevieve De Weever 14 points to 10. Game two between the Seventh Day Adventist Schooland St. Joseph was an amusing and amazing game with a very low score. The first point was scored by the eventual winners with less than three minutes remaining in the first half of game. By half time, the SDA were ahead by two points. At the end of the regulation time, the SDA won the game 13 – 4.
In battle at the secondary level, MPC 2, the defending champions started on a high note with a 55 to 48 win over Learning Unlimited despite the highest individual score of 24 by Amir Artsen from LU. Ten minutes into the game, both teams were evenly balanced with 10 points each, but the defending champions played like the champions they are and at half time, they had an 11 point lead which helped to boost their efforts going into the second half. The rally by LU was long and painful but they closed the gap by eight points at one point in the game. There was some spectacular ball play from both sides that drew cheers in a game that was far from over. The coach of MPC 2 pressed his team to keep the pace and pressure high and the LU coach told his players to slow it down.
Artsen and Guy Boekkar brought a degree of hope to the LU bench and supporters with a last minute push but things did not look good with less than two minutes left and the team trailing by 10 points. Artsen pressed hard and managed to sink two three pointers that electrified the LU supporters, but it was just a little too late. Artsen was the game’s top scorer with his 24 points and Shervin Bljden top scored for the winners with 18. The competition will continue today.