The next round of qualifiers of the 2016 Universities, Polytechnics and Colleges (UPAC) Basketball Championship will take place on Friday April at Accra Polytechnic. The two time and defending champions will take on Zenith University College in Zone F.
However, a pair of little known teams will make their debut appearances in the zone alongside the aforementioned “experienced” duo. Blue Crest College and Valley View University will play in Ghana’s most competitive tertiary basketball championship.
One major story line that pops up every now and then in the ongoing UPAC Basketball Championship is the strong presence of new teams on the roster. These teams continue to change the dynamism synonymous with tertiary basketball in Ghana. Thanks to UPAC organizers Rite Sports Limited, more and more institutions get the chance to play and have players’ exhibit skills and sound principles of the wonderful game.
The expanded format of the competition meant more institutions were roped in to compete. As such institutions in newly created zones in Ghana’s Northern and Brong-Ahafo Regions were added to the original six regions that marked the first two editions of the championship.
Wa Polytechnic, University of Development Studies-Tamale, Tamale Polytechnic represented Zone B which covered the Northern sector.
University of Energy and Natural Resources (UNER), Sunyani Polytechnic, Catholic University College and Sunyani Nursing Training College represented Zone C, covering the Brong-Ahafo Region.
Blue Crest College will parade a young group headed by experienced former standout Guard Kofi Agyemang Kwarteng who is looking to channel some of his game winning exploits and slick ball handling skills into this success-hungry bunch.
The team flexed its’ potential in warm up games prior to the start of the championship after going down 13-26 to seasoned representatives Central University. However, naïve plays that characterize teams of such ilk curtailed Blue Crest’s chances in the said game.
Valley View University showed greater potential in the organized warm up games by leading for leading the first half of its game against University of Professional Studies before falling 21-27 to the Legon-based side.
VVU doesn’t boast of prodigious talent who shone in junior competitions like the Sprite Ball Championship like UNER’s Point Guard genius Robert Fiifi Brew or an experienced coach like Blue Crest’s Kwarteng.
However, the team makes for all these deficiencies by fielding a united team with individuals who play for each other on both ends of the court.
Debutants making a surprise splash have a strong history in the UPAC Championship, and both will look to emulate Marshalls University College’s wonderful run to a fourth place finish in its’ maiden appearance in last year’s competition.
The 2016 UPAC Championship is headlined by Rexona, supported by MTN, CAL Bank and Fanyogo in partnership with Basketballghana.com, TV3, YFM and Ghana Sports Newspaper.