The Cameron Yee coached Hutt Valley/Wellington Men’s team went undefeated at 2019 Under 23 National Basketball Championships held at Te Rauparaha Arena in Porirua. 

The Men’s Final saw Hutt Valley/Wellington defeat Manawatu 93-74.

Hutt Valley/Wellington were paced by Tournament MVP Sione Helu’s 23 points and with Jordan Hunt (17 points), Thomas Gold (15 points) and Finn McClure (18 points) making telling contributions they pulled away from Manawatu in the second half to record a deserved victory.

Earlier an entertaining opening spell saw Hutt Valley/Wellington open up a 27-23 lead which they increased to 45-37 by half-time with Helu scoring a dozen points. Also in double figures at the break was Manawatu’s Tama Faamausili on his way to a game high 25 points.

Just four points separated the teams after a Haize Walker (10 points and 12 rebounds) basket midway through the third quarter but Hutt Valley/Wellington, on the back of a brace of threes from Tom Gold, finished the quarter with a 13-2 run to lead 70-53 with ten minutes to play. 

Finn McClure on his way to 2 points.

Jordan Hunt and Faamausili exchanged threes to open the final period and Jake McKinlay chipped in with a score but Manawatu ran out of gas in the fourth and when Dion Yee knocked down a corner three the “Valley-Welly” lead was in excess of twenty points and the trophy in the hands of the boys from the Capital.

Hutt Valley/Wellington 93– S Helu 23/5a, F McClure 18/10r, J Hunt 17, T Gold 15, C Le’aupepe 10

Manawatu 74 – T Faamausili 25, J McKinlay 13, H Walker 10/12r, J Henry 10, S Selby-Law 10

Men’s All-Star Five:

Jordan Hunt (Hutt Valley / Wellington), Tama Faamausili (Manawatu), Sione Helu (HV/Wgtn), Shem Ili (Counties Manukau), and Jake McKinlay (Manawatu),

MVP– Sione Helu

Photo Credit: Brian Yee

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Scott Richardson