Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Taiwan's HBL All-Stars win double 2006 IHBT champions

Taiwan's HBL Men's All-Stars defeated Kitsilano Secondary School of Vancouver 74-53 to win the 2006 International High School Basketball Tournament champion Sunday while Women's All-Stars edged Japan's Ohka-Gakuen 67-64 in the title game.

This is the fifth straight champion for Taiwan Men's team and third straight for the women's team in the tournament.

Fukuoka Daiichi High School beat Kwang Shin Informationa and Industrial High School 95-83 in men's third-place game. Ashram College Alphen aan de Rijn of the Netherlands, with an average height of 194cm, finished for fifth in the men's competition.

Song Eui High School of South Korea beat Germany's Theodor-Heuss-Gymnasium 82-40 in women's third-place game.

Chang Tsung-hsien of host team Taiwan was named men's MVP, but it was Narito Namizato of Japan's Fukuoka Daiichi HS who caught everyone's attention. At 170cm, Namizato led the tournament in assists, rebounding and steals.

Most observers said Namizato looks like "The second coming of Yuta Tabuse" or "Yuta Tabuse with a jump shot."

Namizato is obviously the most matured player on the court. He reads the floor well, can pass with either hand anytime anywhere. He can take any player one-on-one and break down opponents' defense at will.

So, keep an eye on this kid who honed his skills in hometown Okinawa against many American players.

Go Ah-ra(Song Eui HS) led women's competition in rebounding and steals. Natsumi Horikawa of Ohka-Gakuen was the assists leader.

Men's competition:
1. HBL All-Stars (Taiwan)
2. Kitsilano Secondary School(Vancouver, Canada)
3. Fukuoka Daiichi HS (Japan)
4. Kwang Shin Information and Industrial HS (S. Korea)
5. Ashram College Alphen aan de Rijn (Netherlands)

Women's competition:
1. HBL All-Stars (Taiwan)
2. Ohka-Gakuen HS (Japan)
3. Song Eui HS (S. Korea)
4. Theodor-Heuss-Gymnasium (Germany)

Men's MVP: Chang Tsung-hsien (Taiwan)
Women's MVP: Huang Fan-shan (Taiwan)