Where the action happens.
By Asek Wheeler
Every year there is a basketball tournament held in February among the international schools of Bishkek, called the BISA tournament. Schools all year prepare for this tournament by selecting coaches and players while creating game plans to try and edge out a competitive advantage. Time and dedication were put into making the teams as competitive as possible, and there needs to be mention of our athletics director Mr. Zeljko. He puts a great deal of time and energy into providing our school with the chance to compete.
Moving on, BIS specifically was one of the hardest working schools, thanks to our amazing coaches and players holding each other accountable for mistakes. In preparation for the tournament, the Taigans played many friendly games against both international schools and local teams. Playing against local teams that were much more skilled than our teams greatly helped the teams learn from their mistakes and provide each other with suggestions to improve. The U19 girl’s team participated in the national tournament, where they played much older and more experienced teams. This obviously helped their performance as during BISA, they were brilliant, winning first place. The U15 girls came first place as well, beating Hope Academy’s U15 team. Many heartbreaks occurred for the U15 boys, but this came with much improvement as they went from being blown out by 20 points to losing by 2 to Hope Academy’s U15 boys team. They came fourth, but I believe they could have easily gotten a better result as the teams were very even in skill. The same goes with the U19 boys team, losing by less than 4 points to the first and second-place teams. They beat Silk Road to take 3rd place.
In my opinion, the most interesting part of the tournament (besides our teams of course) was the U19 boys final: UWIS versus Hope Academy. This game came down to the wire. The game was within one, and UWIS had the ball on inbound. One of their best players caught the ball on the corner and rose to take a shot for the win, but sadly the ball went in and out of the hoop.
Many exciting games were played over the weekend, and overall were organized very well. Another positive about the tournament was the officiating. Last year there were many mistakes in the scorekeeping and reffing. These flaws saw many improvements this year, although I felt the officials cared more for U19 games rather than U15 games, with many more calls for the older teams. As someone who played both U19 and U15, both experiences were different than last year. This is partly because sports in international schools have gotten much more competitive and will continue to do so with hard work from the organizers. With hard work and passion for the game, I can already tell that next year’s tournament will only improve this year’s great experience.