Debutants Valley View University and Blue Crest College made impressive debuts in Zone F qualifiers of the 2016 Universities, Polytechnics and Colleges (UPAC) Basketball Championship which was held at Accra Polytechnic on Friday April 1.
Both teams featured for the first time in Ghana’s biggest tertiary basketball competition and made a major impression on all who saw them go head to head with powerhouse Accra Polytechnic and last year’s quarter finalists,
Zenith University College in the third edition of the Rexona-headlined competition.
Valley View had a better tournament of either team as it won both games against Zenith 37-31 and Blue Crest 19-18 before suffering a beat down from Accra Polytechnic, losing 24-59 to the two time winners. Led by soft spoken leader Bright Masi, the unheralded side amazed fans who thronged the court with simple but spot on passes and clever movement on both ends of the court.
Blue Crest on the other hand started brightly by stunning Zenith University 19-18 in the opening round but lost narrowly (24-27) to fellow debutants Valley View in a key matchup where a win would have set Blue Crest up for a show down with Accra Poly. A win for Blue Crest would have ended Valley View’s campaign.
Prior to the tournament, the institution’s registrar Sujith Jayaprakash promised his team would not be “pushovers” in an interview with Basketballghana.com’s Patrick Akoto and true to his word, they were far from being pushovers as Blue Crest won the hearts of many by pushing Accra Poly all the way before losing 23-27. The little known team exchanged leads with the hosts who had already sealed qualification to the quarter finals but played to preserve an undefeated streak at home.
Unsurprisingly, coaches of both teams were happy with their sides’ output in the tournament. Accra Poly will represent Zone F in the last eight of the competition on April 14.
The 2016 UPAC Championship is supported by MTN, Fanyogo and CAL Bank in partnership with Basketballghana.com, TV3, Y FM and Ghana Sports Newspaper.