This Easter during spring break, FastBreak was lucky enough to take a trip to Adelaide, Australia, to play in a tournament as well as visit some of the tourist spots. The Adelaide Easter Classic Basketball Tournament, has been in existence since 1981 and this year involved 27 different grades and over 250 teams across multiple age groups. It was played over 6 different multi-court stadiums, in the city of Adelaide.
FastBreak fielded 2 teams, playing in the U16 and U12 boys age groups. Our crew of 38 players, parents and coaches left from Changi Airport on Wednesday night for an overnight flight into Adelaide arriving at 9am.
Easter in Adelaide is the ideal time to visit, being in the southern hemisphere it is Autumn, but there is still some warmth during the day. After organising our transport for the week, we were off to our accommodation in the heart of the city at Quest on Franklin in serviced apartments. The apartment location was ideal as we were walking distance to the Adelaide Central Markets where the families could sample the fresh food and organise lunches and dinners as they needed.
Thursday night we had a special treat for the teams, as we had organised to attend the Australian Football League to watch the local team. As it turned out, this was a rematch of last season’s Grand Final (Championship), with the Adelaide crows playing against the defending AFL champions, the Richmond Tigers. As the game was being played in the city at the Adelaide Oval, we were able to head out to dinner as a group to celebrate Jorja’s birthday and then walk down to the game. It was a great experience and all the families had a fantastic night before heading home.
We started our first games on Friday with both teams playing the host club Norwood Flames. The hosts had recently wrapped up the 12U Adelaide city championship and it became quickly apparent that we were going to see what Australian basketball is all about. This team plays consistent full court defence with players quickly being able to transition into defence, and maintain pressure on our players. We were instantly on the back foot and struggled to score from this position of weakness. Both teams played their games out hard and improved considerably as the game continued.
After the games we had some time for the remainder of the evening. We decided to head down to the Glenelg beach, one of Adelaide’s most populated beaches. The players were able to have a recovery swim while some of the families decided to stay and dine at the local restaurants.
Saturday was a very busy day for us. Both teams had 2 very tough games against good opponents. The families were continually impressed with the speed and fitness of our opposition. Our players were certainly skilled enough, but were seldom given the chance to perform at their best under relentless pressure.
Between games we had the chance to head back to the hotel and after lunching at the Central Markets again we headed to the Cleland Wildlife Park where we were able to feed the kangaroos and emus and see other different Australian animals.
Later that evening the Tournament organisers had helped us attend an event where the Australian National Basketball League Grand Final was being played. Both teams played at 5pm and we headed straight to the Schnithouse Sports Bar for an Aussie Schnitzel and watched the game on the big screen.
Sunday was our last day of games, and again we were up against some tough opponents who were willing and able to play full court defence and run fastbreaks without seeming to get tired. However, our improvement over the weekend showed as both teams ended the tournament on a high, leaving our best game until last. It was apparent how much improvement the players made over the weekend. The players showed great progression in their understanding and were much better at handling the constant pressure. Our teams were able to turn this aggressive style of defence into scores through our own counter attack, putting pressure back on the opposition.
As it was our last night, families had the chance to head out into the city to find some dining spots before getting ready for the flight home the next day.
Even our flight home was eventful as some of the boys meeting University of Stanford Freshman Isaac White, who is an Adelaide native and was visiting home for Spring Break. He was flying back out to the US to continue his studies after the season end.
All in all it was a fantastic trip, with families and players enjoying the visit to Australia. Our players really learnt a lot from the aggressive Australian style, and we look forward to seeing some of those lessons translate onto the court here in Singapore over the balance of their current CBL campaigns.