Members of the Standpipe community in Liguanea will be staging a 3-on-3 knockout basketball tournament entitled Standpipe Hoop Dreams Basketball Tournament at the Church of St Margaret community playground in the community this Sunday, April 3, from 3 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.The competition is open to community teams, corporate teams and universities. Team members must be males aged 16 years and over.Former national player, Althea Byfield and coach, Nicholas Locke, are part of the organising committee.Standpipe resident, and tournament organiser, Lorna Livingstone, told The Gleaner that the idea behind the event was to reawaken interest in the local courts, which were built in 2003.”The sport of basketball is dying in the area. The space is now mainly used to play scrimmage and futsal or host all-night parties,” Livingstone said.”It’s got great flooring and good hoops and because of bad management and people not knowing how to take care of it, how to use it and people just not being able to get on, no organised sport gets played there,” she added.Local area business, Super Valu, recently repainted the court lines for the tournament, Livingstone said.HOME COURTShe noted that the Jamaica Amateur Basketball Association had intended for the court to be used as a home court for local league play when it was first built, but over time the original plan had been eroded.”The idea is to have an event to remind people that basketball can be played here. The tournament is for 12 teams and it is open so if you are over 16 anyone can play. We have some teams that are registering from the existing Open League which include BOJ, Central Village and in Standpipe, the 39ers and the Liguanea Lions,” Livingstone said.”Support from local businesses and sponsors has been excellent so we are really looking forward to an excellent day of basketball, fun, entertainment, prizes and surprises,” she added.Students of the University of Technology’s Faculty of Science & Sport will also be conducting research on the tournament to help make improvements for future projects.”We have learnt a lot from organising this event and we intend to use this knowledge to make subsequent events even better,” Livingstone said.Sponsors for the tournament include INSIGHT Marketing Strategies Ltd, Emkay Sports & Trophies, Liguanea Liquors & Beverage, Hi-Lyte, Livingstone’s Natural Juice, Super Valu, Sign Craft Ltd, KLAS ESPN, Yardie Sports and JayBones Designs.
Ravichandran Ashwin has refused to acknowledge that India start favourites going into Test series in Australia. India and Australia play a four-match Test series from December 6.”The whole talk about India starting favourites, even when Australia came to India they were talking us up, and it looks like more of a strategy for us. I personally think you have to go one day at a time. It’s never easy to come over to Australia and win series.”In the Ashes they almost whitewashed England, knocked them over, and so as far as I’m concerned they are starting favourites. It’s very important for us to chip away every single day, every single ball, and if we can get our noses ahead, stay ahead,” Ashwin said.Ashwin was also satisfied with India’s bowling performance in the ongoing warm-up game against Cricket Australia XI at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG).Ashwin bowled 24 over and took 1 for 63 while paceman Mohammed Shami grabbed three wickets from 18 overs and Umesh Yadav got 1. CA XI finished day three on 356/6, two runs behind India’s score of 358 all out.”You don’t turn up to Australia thinking wickets are going to seam or spin around. They are always going to be flat we know that. We cannot really complain and we have to put it behind us to try and go play some good cricket. Mostly the first innings are big scoring innings so we have to be aware to play some smart cricket through the series,” he said on Friday.advertisementAshwin has also underlined the importance of bowling well in partnerships, considering it is tougher to run through the opposition in Australia than South Africa and England.India will also be missing the services of fast bowling all-rounder Hardik Pandya, who is nursing lower-back injury sustained during the Asia Cup in September.”You have to stitch together partnerships even when bowling and it’s very important to ascertain your role to get what you can out of the game. It obviously changes the dynamics for the captain when he goes out with one bowler less or one bowler more. But as a bowler personally it’s still the same for me.”As a spinner it’s important to stick it out there in the first innings, if I get some help in the second innings then try to pitch in. That’s similar to how I came here last time, I had a very good series and that was one of the turning points in my career.”HARD WORK FOR BOWLERSIndian bowlers did well in England and South Africa but considering the nature of pitches, they are in for a long haul.”It’s more about getting your noses ahead in Australia. Every hour, the game can get away from you really fast in the field. We have some quality batsmen who can take the game away from them.”It’s very important to soak together good partnerships as a bowling group then try and knock them over. You won’t blow oppositions away it might happen once in a while but you have to get your noses ahead and keep it ahead,” he said.On his the bowling effort in the practice game, Ashwin said: “I thought the wicket was pretty flat. Initially we conceded a few runs with the new ball and then we realized what lengths we had to bowl and what sort of fields we need to keep.”In practice matches, you are looking to get something out of it for yourself, and as a bowling group, when you go out there on the park. I think we got pretty much what we wanted to get out of it.”I thought the ball came out pretty well (off my hand). I haven’t played an international game for a while so it felt good the way it came out. In the next 4-5 days I will prep up a bit more for the game,” he said.’HOPE SHAW RECOVERS QUICKLY’Proceedings on Friday were overshadowed by an ankle injury suffered by young Prithvi Shaw, who landed awkwardly on his left leg while fielding early in the morning session, and has subsequently been ruled out of the first Test in Adelaide.”He is feeling a bit sore and it has swollen up a little bit. Sad that it happened the first time he came out on the field. I hope he recovers fast. He has not spoken much. It has hit him pretty hard. He is a young boy who has come to play in Australia for the first time and had a dream start to his Test career, so this has hit him pretty hard.advertisement”It’s unfortunate what’s happened, but these things happen. You must have heard these cliches before, but these things do happen and it’s an opportunity for someone else. I believe everything happens for a reason,” said Ashwin.Indian bowlers pulled back things in the second session when Shami and Umesh Yadav (1/81 in 22 overs) performed better with the older ball. Ishant Sharma (0/57) too bowled 16 overs.The off-spinner will be in direct competition with Australia’s Nathan Lyon. Ashwin said the duo cannot replicate each other’s styles but will hope for an interesting duel with his counterpart.”I also watch his videos. We started our Test careers at the same time so obviously mutual admiration is there. He has done well over the last couple years and he is bowling well. The ball is coming out well off his hand. What can I learn? Probably drop the ball at the right spots and probably as the series goes on look forward to a good competition.He also refused to comment on the troubles in the Australian camp.”There are a lot of headaches when you play international cricket, personally and for the teams you are part of, so it makes no sense to try and get your heads into another dressing room. That’s for them to mind their own cricket and it’s important that when you go out there you compete really hard, make sure you are sticking to your plans and strengths,” Ashwin said.(With inputs from PTI)