First tournament on new courts

ABOUT 1000 junior basketballers, plus their families, will converge on the district for the annual Sale  Amateur Basketball Association tournament this weekend.

It will be the first time the tournament has been played on the new courts at the Gippsland Regional Sports Complex.

The upgrade to timber sprung floors from the former concrete floors has been well received, with teams travelling from Waverley and Eltham to play the tournament.

SABA president Luc Wilson said 116 teams had confirmed entry, ranging from under 10s to under 18s, with numbers up slightly from last year.

“Our players just love the opportunity to play basketball and do it at their home stadium, but this event is more than that,” he said.

“It is a great opportunity to showcase our region to families from across Gippsland and Melbourne and to support local business.

“Travelling teams will stay overnight in town and all teams will have gaps in between games to visit local shops and support cafes and restaurants.”

Wilson thanked local schools who are providing courts to support the event.

“Catholic College Sale has been a great supporter of our association allowing us to use Bishop Phelan Stadium, Gippsland Grammar has a top-quality indoor stadium which is the envy of many other towns, Sale College has an indoor stadium at the senior campus, and Heyfield Basketball Association is also working with our club to provide the best possible venues for the tournament.

“Finals will be played at GRSC and Bishop Phelan on the Sunday afternoon, which will be a great showcase of junior sport in our region.

“We welcome all spectators to come along throughout the weekend and enjoy the spectacle on offer.”