By BACT Media Unit – 22 January 2024

One of the biggest Canberra Classic’s in recent years was held over the weekend at Belconnen Basketball Stadium. The annual tournament played host to some exquisite basketball as the annual pre-season tournament lit up the nation’s capital.

Thirty-two teams made their way from all over NSW and the ACT to compete in the three-day tournament. The competition tipped off on Friday night with a host of ACT teams battling for early ascendancy in what was shaping up to be a gruelling few days, as the mercury tipped 30 degrees for the majority of the weekend.

In the social men grades, both divisions were hotly contested, but only 4 teams could prevail into the final’s series. In B Grade, both Canberra Basketball League and Fredcom Flop Shots came through the pool stage undefeated. Whilst the Raiders and Fakers did enough to progress through, with only one loss each during their pool matches. Bucket Warehouse A and Warriors claimed a finals berth in A Grade after convincing performances in their Pool A matches. In Pool B, one win separated first and fourth place, but it was the Butter Chickens and GL Mongolians progressing through to Sunday’s finals. Meanwhile, the Raiders and Fredcom Flop Shots grabbed victories in the B-Grade semi-finals, with Fredcom getting the job done in the big dance. In A-Grade, Bucket Warehouse A and Butter Chicken booked grand final spots after hard-fought wins, but it was Butter Chicken who got the chocolates when it mattered.

It was an all-ACT affair in the Women’s Invitational grade as a number of girls had one final hit-out before heading off for various representative duties in the coming weeks.  It was the Canberra Nationals Gold and ACT U20s Women who came out on top at the conclusion of the pool stage. The Men’s Invitational featured 11 teams which provided a great opportunity for players to get their first taste of basketball for 2024. The Canberra Gunners and NSW U20s dominated Pool A, whilst the ACT U20 Men and St George Red comfortably booked their spots for the finals. The Invitational semi-finals tipped off with the women’s grade. The Canberra Nationals Gold and ACT U20s Women showing their class to proceed into the grand final, with the Canberra Nationals Gold taking victory in a classy performance. The Men’s Invitational semi-finals consisted of wins to the Canberra Gunners and NSW U20s. The Canberra Gunners showing their dominance of the weekend with a big win against a very impressive NSW team in the Grand-Final.

Basketball ACT thanks all players, teams, officials and referees for playing their part in a successful weekend. We look forward to welcoming everyone back to a bigger and better tournament in 2025.

(Photos courtesy – Rex Bergas @capturedbyrekz)