Lavesh Zuting underlines his star quality by picking up the Most Valuable Player award in the final to go along with his Season MVP prize as Indian Hoopstar beat ISC Abu Dhabi 31-15 to become the inaugural Under-14 National School League Basketball champions.
Indian Hoopstars (Dubai) U14 and VISS (Sharjah) U16 were crowned champions of the inaugural National School League Basketball, played in Sharjah on Saturday. Relive the action.
Indian High School Dubai have steamrolled opponents en route to the Under-14 finals, where they’ll encounter the International School of Choueifat from Abu Dhabi.
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IHS are one of only two teams in the age group, as well as the entire tournament, to finish the round robin stage with all five wins.
The other was New Filipino Private School, who Indian Hoopstar beat 42-38 in the quarter-finals.
“I watched [IHS] and they’re very, very good,” said ISC coach Stefanita Buzatu. “It will be very hard for us, but we will try.”
It would be easy to think that IHS haven’t truly been tested yet, but in addition to the close win against NFPS, they were arguably in the toughest group, which had four out of six schools finishing with a winning record.
“We’ve faced a lot of challenges,” IHS guard Lavesh said.
Lavesh has stood out in a team full of strong players, his 71 points ranking third in the age group.
He’s also in top form after shining in the semi-finals with 27 points to single-handedly outscore Delhi Private School Sharjah in the 50-25 win.
ISC have their own reliable ball-handler in Khalifa Khouri, who scored 15 points and earned player of the game honours in the semi-finals, along with a big man tandem of Kareem Eid and Gohar Hussain in the frontcourt.
Buzatu was pleased to see his players function as more than just individual parts in the 27-13 win over Dubai College last week and believes his team have already
accomplished much in reaching this stage, no matter the result against IHS.
HOW THEY WEIGH UP
– Talent roster
– Guard play
– Outside shooting
Lavesh: 71 points, 17 steals, 9 assists, 7 rebounds, 2 blocks
Tahir: 55 points, 8 assists, 8 rebounds, 5 steals, 1 blocks
Rohan: 40 points, 37 rebounds, 6 assists, 6 blocks, 3 steals
ISC Abu Dhabi
– Outside shooting
– Lack of depth
Khalifa Khouri: 55 points, 15 rebounds, 9 assists, 8 steals, 1 block
Kareem Eid: 36 points, 67 rebounds, 6 steals, 4 assists, 3 blocks