P.H.A.S.E.1 Burundi under 18 boys and girls team pose with their winning trophies
The under 18 boys and girls teams from P.H.A.S.E.1 academy in Burundi created history after they won the first-ever Youth Basketball Tournament between clubs from Burundi and The Democratic Republic of Congo.
P.H.A.S.E.1 Burundi under 18 girls team pose with coaches, P.H.A.S.E. 1 Founder Wayne Dawkins (second right) and tournament organizer Patrick Bizindayvi (first right)
The teams asserted their dominance on their home turf and came out victorious against the Les Gazelles Basketball Club from Burundi, and the BOLD Academy de Bukavu, and CAVIAR Basketball Academy de Bukavu from the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The tournament lasted for two days, April 9 and 10, with the finals taking place at the Basketball Stadium in Bujumbura on April 10.
The under 18 girls team from P.H.A.S.E.1 Burundi scored an impressive 39-32 against CAVIAR Basketball Academy. While the under 18 boys team showcased their superiority in a 51-43 against score the CAVIAR Basketball Academy.
The under 18 girls defeated their opponents by an impressive 39-32 score
But it was Felix Vatua, and Christian Cimanuka of CAVIAR Basketball Academy who were the man of the final game, and top scorers respectively.
Director of P.H.A.S.E.1 Academy in Burundi Hakizimana Alexis said he was very proud of his team's achievement especially since this was the first time many of the athletes were playing in an international game.
And although the teams started out a bit shaky, he said they regrouped quickly because of the support from the coaching staff who encouraged them to employ all the skills they learned in training.
Alexis is certain that this victory has greatly bolstered the team's confidence levels.
The under 18 boys team showcased their superiority in a 51-43 against score the CAVIAR Basketball Academy.
“It was an incredible experience and good wins for both the girls and boys team. It was a big pride for them to get gold medals and win very nice trophies,” he said.
He shared that the Burundian basketball community was very supportive of the tournament as people are recognizing the importance of events like these.
“Such events are very crucial for the development of Burundian basketball because it gives opportunities for kids to play international games earlier in their career. The stadium was full of people. Kids were used to playing in the place with just a few people attending the games, but last time it was a hundred people crying out ‘P.H.A.S.E1!’,” he said.
There was massive support for P.H.A.S.E.1 athletes
“The kids were on another planet pushed by the fans.”
Among the spectators in the stadium was the President of the Urunani Basketball Club, the President of the Burundi Basketball Federation as well as the President of the Congo Basketball Federation who came to observe the future of basketball for both countries.
MVP of the game Mubereza Parfait proudly shows off the trophy while President of Burundi Basketball Federation Jean-Paul Manirakiza (left) and Regional President of Congo Basketball Federation (center) and her delegate look on
While the tournament’s primary objective was to assess the level of young Burundian basketball players who are supervised within the Phase 1 academy, it also served the added purpose of strengthening friendly relations between Burundi and Congo Basketball federations.
These were reasons enough for organizers to push through the hurdles they encountered in stringent administrative requirements at the border. This included getting COVID-19 tests for 60 invited guests from The Democratic Republic of Congo.
Nonetheless, they are taking pride in the event’s success.
P.H.A.S.E.1 Burundi under 18 boys team poses for a photo with coaches and dignitaries.
The tournament was made possible through sponsorship from the Burundi Basketball Federation, the Urunani Men’s Professional Team, Africa Basketball Ejo, Elite 1 Recruiting Services, and P.H.A.S.E. 1 Global.
P1 Global sponsors the academy as well as develops and trains the coaches and supports the development of the athletes, while Elite 1 Recruiting Services provided media coverage of the event.