Bring on Tel Aviv! That’s what the Stingers were saying after capturing the 39th annual Beer Sheva Academic Sports Association (ASA) tournament, a warm-up event for next week’s Friendship Games from Tel Aviv.
It became apparent quite early in Beer Sheva that Concordia was the team to beat, and they did not disappoint with a 63-57 win over Estonia in this afternoon’s final. Earlier in the day the Stingers beat Serbia 63-61 in the semi-finals, the perfect form of revenge after a two-point loss to the Serbs on the first day of competition.
Concordia finished the Beer Sheva tournament with a 7-1 record, and got better as the tournament went along.
“The first few days, we were still getting our legs back,” says point guard Damian Buckley. “We hadn’t played since [Canadian] Nationals in March, so I think it took us a few games to get back into it.”
Buckley led all scorers with 19 points in the championship game, while Patrick Perrotte had a tournament-high 36 in the semi-final win.
While there was never really much doubt the Stingers would win this tournament, a championship is still worth celebrating. The Concordia coaches and players proudly wore their medals during the post-game ceremonies, taking pictures, waving the Canadian flag and taking turns with the championship trophy.
Serbia and Estonia will now join Concordia (Canada) in Tel Aviv for what is expected to be a more competitive tournament, The Friendship Games.
“The Friendship Games are the real purpose behind our trip,” Concordia Coach John Dore says, “and now we’re ready for them.”