Monday, July 11, 2016

Men's Basketball wins international tournament in Seoul

The HPU Men’s Basketball Team receiving its trophy and medals as the 
2016 Asia-Pacific University Basketball Challenge champions

The Hawai‘i Pacific Men’s Basketball Team participated in the third annual Asia-Pacific University Basketball Challenge — an international collegiate basketball tournament — in Seoul, South Korea,  June 29 to July 4. HPU represented the United States, while each of the other teams were comprised of selected players from universities throughout their respective countries. Chinese-Taipei, Japan, Russia, and two teams from Korea completed the field. The tournament was hosted by the Korea Basketball Association and had several games nationally televised, including the championship that was estimated to have over 1 million viewers.

The Sharks spent a week in Honolulu with eight team members, preparing for the trip. They were joined in Seoul by three other team members and had one practice prior to the opening game with the Korean A Team. HPU dropped its first game of the tournament, but the Sharks rebounded the next day to defeat Chinese-Taipei, 77-73. The Sharks were led in scoring by Chauncey Orr and Jordan Martin who had 17 and 15 points respectively. Newcomer Jonothan Janssen led all players with 10 rebounds.

In the semi-final contest versus the Korean B Team, the Sharks had a balanced scoring attack with 10 players getting into the box score. Connor Looney tallied 18 and Chauncey Orr notched 15 while pulling down an impressive 18 rebounds to lead the Sharks to an 85-68 victory.

In the championship game, the Sharks were looking for revenge against the Korean A Team. HPU had five players in double figures led by Connor Looney with 15 and Jonothan Janssen with 21.  Janssen went 5 for 8 from the 3-point line while Chauncey Orr grabbed 13 rebounds. HPU won 91-84 to claim the trophy. It was the first time the Korean National Select Team has not won the tournament.

“This was a tremendous experience for our team both on and off the basketball court,” head coach Darren Vorderbruegge commented. “It was obvious to everyone at the tournament that the Sharks were improving with each game.”

Team visit to the Olympic Museum
Coach V went on to state “equally important was the cultural and team bonding opportunities that we were able to take advantage of. This is representative of the global learning and diversity education that HPU affords its student athletes.  We are grateful to Athletic Director Vince Baldemor for supporting this initiative.”

For more information on the HPU Men’s Basketball Team, go to its webpage here, and check them out on Facebook here.  

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