ABSC Days One and Two Wrap – Weinstein and Siulepa catch the eye

THE Australian Basketball Schools Championships kicked off on Monday, and the first two days of action has seen some close games as well as a fair few head-turning performances.

The tournament pits the nation’s strongest school basketball teams against one another as the country’s young guns are given the opportunity to compete against their peers and lead their side to a championship.

Day one saw plenty of tense wins, including Newington College’s thrilling six-point triumph over Willetton Senior High School, with a large part of the result sparked by Jake Weinstein. The youngster impressed on both ends of the floor, finishing the contest with a game-high 20 points thanks to shooting numbers of five-from-five from two-point territory.

He also defended the ball-carrier exceptionally well, picking up opponents at full-court and pestering them into mistakes. His quick first step allows him to blow past the opposition and either score at the rack or find a teammate with his impressive passing IQ, which was reflected in his four assist.

Another eye-catching result from the first two days saw Brisbane State High School claim a towering 71-point win over Concordia College on day one, largely thanks to developing talent Roman Siulepa, who is one to watch in the coming years. At just 15 years of age, Siulepa is playing against opponents five years his senior, but age was no barrier as he dominated Conordia with 28 points, six rebounds and six assists.

The NBA Global Academy product appears to be on the right path and should gather big crowds with his six-foot-seven frame and ability to throw down some rim-rattling dunks. He is certainly a player to monitor in the coming years and should be one of the most exciting participants of the ABSC for 2022.

Siulepa is unlike anything Australian basketball has seen before at the elite level, gathering more frequent comparisons to the likes of the NBA’s most athletic stars such as Shawn Kemp, which checks out given the 15-year-old’s size and vertical leap at such a young age. The second day saw Siulepa add 28 points and eight rebounds against Newington, so he is no fluke and deserves your attention.

On day two, Cameron Pender stuffed the stat sheet with one of the most remarkably complete performance of the tournament in recent years, leading Lake Ginninderra College to a victory with a whopping 49 points to go with 15 rebounds and nine assists.

Lake Ginninderra College were also treated in the girls competition to another strong individual outing, as Jessica Petrie posted a thumping double-double of 23 points and 19 rebounds, including nine-from-10 shooting from the field, while Lily Carmody continues to impress over the first couple of days as the WNBL season approaches.

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