24 September 2017 – The Adelaide 36ers were crowned Merlion Cup 2017 Champions after a hard fought 81-101 win against defending champions the Shanghai Sharks. Despite the 20-point victory, the Shanghai Sharks kept the game close till the last quarter before the 36ers pulled away with their full court pressing game.
The Australian’s preseason preparations showed on the court as their high tempo game caused Sharks problems with a total of 17 points from turnovers.
With all of their starters hitting double figures, the Adelaide 36ers showed their quality against a hardworking Shanghai Sharks team, dominating the boards with 40 rebounds and an impressive 60% conversion in the paint
Adelaide 36ers Captain Brendon Teys reflected on a fruitful yet tough Merlion Cup saying “We had a scouting report and knew beforehand which shooters to look out for and get a hand on every shot, and down at the offensive end we tried our best to get to the rim or draw the foul. It has been great to come over here and play against different teams from different backgrounds, we were definitely pushed hard and had to work for the win in the semis and final itself. It has been a good experience and we feel ready going into the National Basketball League in two weeks.”LEAVING A LEGACY THROUGH COACHING AND REFEREEING
Beyond the court, six teams spent their off days taking part in community activities such as coaching clinics at local and international schools, and with 400 children from the ActiveSG Basketball Academy during Sports Hub Community Play Day.
The 36ers also conducted a coaching clinic for over 30 local coaches where they shared their international experience and insight into professional basketball.
In a bid to enhance the level of coaching and refereeing in Singapore, organisers of the Merlion Cup 2017, Basketball Association of Singapore (BAS) invited former Serbian International Vlade Djurovic, FIBA coaches from Europe, and FIBA referee Atsuhiro Ueda from Japan for an international coaching and refereeing clinic.
On the depth of activities brought by the Merlion Cup 2017, President of the Basketball Association of Singapore, Mr David Ong said “We want to make the Merlion Cup more than just a basketball tournament. If we look at the heritage of the tournament, its purpose was not just for teams around the region to compete in a high quality tournament, but also to develop the local basketball scene and garner more interest and increase the rate of participation of basketball here in Singapore. With this in mind, we set out with a very clear objective this year in terms of the clinics and community activities which have taken place, and we hope that the tournament will have a bigger impact year on year.”
The Merlion Cup this year brought seven high caliber teams from Australia, South Korea, Indonesia, China, Taiwan and the Philippines participating for the first time in the tournaments history.