Saturday, February 14, 2015

Showdown Saturday at the All Native Basketball Tournament

After a week of competition, the day of the Finals has arrived for the 56th edition of the All Native Basketball Tournament.  With the scene set to deliver four Division championships, highly anticipated contests that will make for a hectic and lively Saturday to bring the curtain down on this years gathering.

The road to Saturday's final showdowns has featured a few mis-matches through the early days of the schedule and also provided for more than a few tightly played contests that went down to the very last basket, the last tick of the clock.

Some past champions have faded from view over the last six days and nights, a few of them surprising departures for many that were making their pre tournament picks.

A changing of the basketball scene that perhaps is ushering in a new era and heralding a shift in some of the divisions, something to keep an eye on for the years ahead.

For a few of the teams participating this year however, the path towards a potential championship has been that of a straight charge ahead, undefeated records taking them to the Final game.

For others there have been twists and turns along the way these last six days, second chances rewarded with an opportunity to claim victory as the clock begins to tick towards the 2015 tournament end.

Friday night set the scene for what is ahead on the final day of the tournament. Offering up a mix of high tension on the court and also a celebration of success from a familiar name for many at Tournament time.

The latter coming as part of a special ceremony Friday night, as the All Native Tournament Committee placed Sid Edenshaw into the ANBT Hall of Fame.

His induction, the only name to go into the Hall this year, was one of the highlights of the week as team mates and rivals of the past, joined with the players of today and the large crowd of fans in the gymnasium, all joining in to salute his achievements through some memorable tournaments of the years gone by.

A sample of that emotion packed salute from the Russell Gamble Gym at the Civic Centre can be found on the CFNR Facebook page.

The celebration of his importance to the Tournament atmosphere this year, made for a perfect way to make the transition from a hard fought week of basketball that now brings on the final matches of the six days in Prince Rupert.

On the court Saturday, Four Division titles are on the line.

With some highly anticipated match ups set to make the day a memorable one.

Intermediate Division

Championship Saturday gets off to an early start with a 9 AM tip off, as Metlakatla, Alaska takes on Hazelton in the Intermediate Division semi final.

The winner of the Saturday eye opener then moves on to face Skidegate in the Division Final.

Tip off for the final game for Intermediate play is 6 PM.

Seniors Division

The Seniors Saturday's action starts off at mid morning, with the Semi Final set for 10:30.   Ahousat and Kincolith, two teams which will looking to extend their tournament time by one more game.

The winner will then move on to the Seniors final, taking on Skidegate for the Division Championship later in the evening.

The Senior's Finale brings the tournament to a close with tip off at 7:30.

Women's Division

The Women's Division has had it's contenders listings filled since mid afternoon on Friday, as Kitimaat put together a pair of Friday victories to advance to the Division Final.

They move closer to their goal with the Saturday's championship game, looking to add one more victory to their impressive late tournament run,.

Waiting for them, with a different outcome in mind will be Bella Bella, looking  to wrap up their tournament with a perfect record.

Saturday's Women's final tips off at 1 PM.

Master's Divison

The mid afternoon brings the Tournament an all Haida affair in the Master's Division, as Hydaburg and Old Massett take to the court renewing what may be one of the most intense rivalries of the tournament.

Island pride will be in full force at the Jim Ciccone Civic Centre through the afternoon, as two top teams look to take home the bragging rights for 2015.

The Master's take to the court at 2:30 PM

For those that don't have tickets to the finals, or can't make it to the Civic Centre, CFNR is broadcasting the play by play of all the action through the day today.

See their website for further information.

For a look at the road to Saturday's final match ups see our archive page, it also features a link to our review of items culled from the week's coverage of the tournament action.

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