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The Vita Malta Bequia Basketball 15th Annual Championships opened on Sunday at the Clive Tannis Hard Court in Bequia.

The original opening on Saturday was postponed due to a power outage, but patrons turned out in numbers Sunday night to support, with much anticipation for the new season.

Fifteen teams are registered in three divisions in the seven-week tournament, which runs until September 1.

Games to be played four days per week.

The First Division 2012 runners-up, East Blazers Basketball Club, were adjudged the Best Dressed team and received a cake.

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Patrons were addressed by BBA President, Sabrina Mitchell, who is also the Caribbean Basketball regional Secretary General.

She congratulated the whole basketball fraternity in Bequia, including the players, referees, coaches, sponsors, and patrons on the success of 15 years growing and sustaining the sport on the island, which she stated was a collective effort.

She also congratulated Bequia referee, Michael Peniston, on his successful attainment of his International FIBA Referee license, joining Shem Ollivierre as the two lone FIBA qualified referees in SVG.

She informed that two other referees in Bequia are looking to take the international exam later in the year as the Association continues its efforts to develop a professional cadre of basketball referees.

She thanked the St. Vincent Brewery and Shafia London, and Courts SVG Ltd. for their sponsorship of this year’s competition, as well as the Frangipani Hotel, Vintages Bequia, and many Bequia business houses who support the tournament financially every year.

Two games were played on Sunday night: Second Division Defending Champions Wizards defeated Blazing Heat, 81 to 44. Leading scorer for Wizards was Orando Blugh with 18 points, 20 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 blocks.

For the Blazing Heat, Mark Browne contributed 12 points, 2 assists and four steals to the losing effort.

In the feature exhibition game, the Bequia All-Stars Basketball Club hosted visiting team from Carriacou, Grenada defeating them by 42 points, with a final score of 79 to 37.

Leading scorer for Bequia was shooting guard Keithroy Lavia with 13 points, and 3 assists while Kerry Alexis of Carriacou contributed 10 points to his team effort.

Games resume on Wednesday:

5:30 p.m.: U16- Dragons vs Hawks

7 p.m.: U16- Hornets vs Titans

8 p.m.: First Division-East Blazers vs Warriaz