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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume. 34, Number 12. June 16, 1971

Men's Basketball

Men's Basketball

At the start of the winter season numbers suggested that Victoria would be a reasonably strong club. As in the past, however many lower grade players dropped out through lack of ability and lack of willingness to organise themselves, (because as in previous years Vic had no recognised coach) As a result we ended up with only two teams.

With seven of last years "A" team back again, plus an exciting new prospect in Peter Mitchell, an American player from Lafayette College, Pennsylvania, Vic's early season hopes looked good.

We still lacked tall players of ability with such players as Paul Bevin, Greg Billington and Tom Pivac, all attending University full-time, but still overlooking the University Club and playing for outside teams. Another American player, Loren Gresham, although only here till July, also opted to play for an outside club. Had all the players attending Victoria made themselves available, Victoria would have romped away with the Wellington competition and would have had one of the strongest club sides in New Zealand.

The "A" team, playing in the top league at Newtown, seems to be continually underestimated by the Wellington Association.

Although we were runners-up in the end of season playoffs last year (losing narrowly in the final to Marist 62-61), the Association still failed to invite Vic to enter an intercity competition, to which they invited the top 2 teams from Palmerston North, 3 from Hutt Valley and 3 from Wellington. However, so far this year we have decisevely beaten Seatoun, seeded top equal with Marist, 42-31, and also beaten a complacent Marist team on the second encounter, after losing to them earlier in the season, 43-32. In fact, although recognition of our strength does not seem apparent, we have lost only one game to date, winning five and thus heading the competition.

Fixtures for the "A" team in the near future include a trip to New Plymouth to participate in a North Island Club tournament, and a possible trip to Christchurch to play in a triagular tournament with Otago and Canterbury Universities. Our chances of winning the New Plymouth tournament are good, and our trip to Canterbury" should provide some indication as to how we will fare at Winter Tournament in August, as Otago have won the previous two tournaments.

The Victoria "B" team, playing in the "A" division of the weaker Central City League, are also enjoying success and at present are top-equal, having had four wins and a draw.

R.J. Agnew