FOBISIA and BISA U19 Boys Champions - Bangkok Prep

FOBISIA and BISA U19 Boys Champions

🎉🏀 Victory Alert! 🏆 Meet Bangkok Prep’s FOBISIA and BISA U19 Boys Champions: Cameron, Fil, Luke, Will, and Ian who had the following to say about their recent successes: “As a cohesive unit, our team prioritised attending numerous training sessions together to enhance our chemistry and elevate our collective performance. Individual training sessions led by Coach Andy and Deasy, focusing on honing specific skills such as shooting and defensive techniques, were crucial to further enhance our abilities on the court.”
You can read the full interview below:

Can you describe the feeling of victory after competing against 12 of the top international schools in Thailand?

I was in shock as in the finals we went into triple overtime and at that point every player was exhausted but the opposition looked like they still had loads of energy so I thought that we were going to lose the game. After the game everyone was so happy and we went to go and celebrate together.


What was the journey like leading up to these tournaments? How did the team prepare and come together to achieve such an outstanding performance?

As a cohesive unit, our team prioritised attending numerous training sessions together to enhance our chemistry and elevate our collective performance. On a personal level, I diligently participated in individual training sessions led by Coach Andy and Deasy, focusing on honing specific skills such as shooting and defensive techniques. Additionally, I dedicated considerable effort to recovery and joint strengthening, particularly in light of tendinitis in my right knee. Moreover, I diligently engaged in strength training and tailored sport-specific exercises like air alert routines to further enhance my abilities on the court.


Was there a particular game or moment during the tournaments that you feel was pivotal to your success? Could you share that experience with us?

I feel that the last quarter of the STA game at FOBISA (the quarter finals) as the game was very close and everyone was exhausted due to playing 3 games prior to it. In the last play of the game I got a rebound of a missed shot by STA then passed it to Fillippo who then threw it across the court to subin who shot a corner 3 at the last second. This was the pivotal moment as when Subin hit the game winning shot everyone was ecstatic and jumped onto the court to congratulate him. Despite the tiredness this made everyone happy and caused everyone to have high morale for the next day of the tournament.


Basketball is a team sport that requires every player to contribute. How would you describe the dynamics of your team, and what makes your team unique?

What makes our team unique is our ability to change defence as we have been taught Zone, Man and press (A new defence which prioritises stealing and slowing their push down in order to gain more possessions). This allowed us to alter our defence according to who we were playing. Another thing that we do differently is our offence where instead of having specific moves to allow certain players to score we have plays which gives anyone the opportunity to shoot. An example is AI where the position of the players doesn’t matter as long as everyone knows the play. Our ability to use plays is thanks to many people coming to training sessions which allowed coach Andy to teach it to all players in all positions.


Every victory comes with its own set of challenges. What were some of the obstacles your team faced, and how did you overcome them?

Some of the challenges that we encountered especially recently were injuries. These included players rolling ankles and causing ligament damage to players damaging their knees. This caused us to need to fill their roles in games. One moment that stands out to me about this is during FOBISA where Arin (Our starting centre) got a bad cramp in his calf during the last minute of the STA game where we were tied up at the time. Due to this he had to be subbed off causing me to fill his role. I had to play really tight defence on their big man and then get a rebound (Which I did) and then pass this off. In this game I caught the rebound and passed it to Fillippo (the playmaker at the time) who passed it across the court to Subin who hit a corner 3 in the last second of the game allowing us to win. During this the rest of the team on the bench were helping Arin by stretching his calf and providing him with water in order to stop the cramp.


How has your coach’s guidance and strategy contributed to the team’s success in these tournaments?

Our success is mainly due to coach Andy as he made the plays like AI which was our main offence during the FOBISA games. He also was responsible for making the plays in the timeouts during the games which allowed us to set up a shot for our key shooters allowing us to win certain games such as against Shrewsbury (the finals of FOBISA). He is also responsible for calling out key changes in the game such as switching from a press to a zone during defence or going from a play to twins in offence.


Lessons Learned: Beyond winning, what important lessons do you think the team has learned from competing in the FOBISIA and BISA tournaments?

I think the lesson that we but especially me, is to not give up no matter what. During some of the games the opposition had scored many points on us while we hadn’t scored but the coach kept up the morale of the players and allowed us to bring back the games to victory. Another lesson that I think everyone learnt was the importance of friendship and teammates. Even just the simple things of buying food for each other and getting each other drinks while on the bench showed just how much each player there cared about each other.


With these victories under your belt, what are the team’s goals for the future? How do you plan to build on this success?

For me personally I am going to keep on training and playing in games (even out of school like BIBL which is a men’s league) to hopefully get into a basketball team in university.


What advice would you give to younger athletes who dream of achieving similar success in team sports?

Don’t let anything stop you. Last year I injured my knee badly which led to me not being able to move it without pain for a while. However through this time I still went to training to get shots up and did rehab (provided by Coach Anthony) on my knee. This allowed me to still do the thing that I love while recovering and subsequently led to me playing in and winning FOBISA.

I also only started playing basketball last year but despite this I went to many training and went from being a bench player on the Junior varsity team to starting a game for the varsity team. This shows that regardless of skill difference between people if you train hard enough you can achieve anything.


Who would you like to acknowledge or thank for contributing to your team’s success?

The coaches are the obvious response to this question but also the parents who did simple things like take us to training and games but also did things that help the whole team such as providing water and food for the teams without expecting anything in return.


How do you maintain high levels of sportsmanship and respect for your opponents, even in the competitive atmosphere of a tournament?

This was mainly due to the captains of our team (Cameron and Fillippo) who after every game made us line up and shake hands with each player on the other team and then thank the referees regardless of the outcome of the games. Also during the games if a player falls to the ground and the game is stopped I will always attempt to help them up and make sure that the player is okay especially if I was the person that fouled them.

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