26 May Win Mumby: back-to-back wins for the Woodstock boys
Woodstock boys’ team won the 12th Win Mumby All India Basketball tournament on Saturday, beating Welham Boys’ School 47-42 in a closely-contested and tense final. It means the Tigers have now won back-to-back championships, and is all the more impressive after the team bounced back after defeat to Welham Boys’ in a group game on Friday night.
On finals day the Tigers comfortably saw off Delhi Modern School in their semi-final by 50 points to 38. However the final, in a packed Win Mumby gym, proved to be a nail-biting affair, with the teams matching one another in the first two quarters. In the third quarter Woodstock moved ahead by ten points, but in the final quarter it was neck and neck, with Welham coming back to within three points of the Tigers.
Ultimately it was the consistent scoring of Woodstock’s two outstanding players throughout the tournament, Zach Vignali, who is only in Grade 9, and captain Matthew Sailo, which cemented the victory.Matthew remained calm under intense pressure to score two vital free shots in the final quarter and scored 17 points in the final, while Zach’s amazing ability to score three-pointers throughout the game kept the Tigers ahead. Zach top scored with 20 points in the final, while Matthew picked up the most valuable player award for the tournament.
The girls’ tournament was won by Delhi Modern School who were propelled to victory against Welham Girls’ School by their star player Madhu, who also won most valuable player for the girls’ competition. They won by 66 points to 37. Woodstock’s girls’ team lost to the eventual champions in the semi-finals 55-20.
Finals day on Saturday saw the crowd of 600 entertained by the Woodstock School jazz band, Woodstock’s Japanese taiko drumming group, a half time rock show, and a yak dance performed by students from Tibetan Homes School. Closing the tournament, Woodstock Principal Dr Jonathan Long said the competition had seen “a lot of speed, stamina and skill, and every emotion from elation to undiluted disappointment. It has been a magnificent event and the whole has been greater than the sum of its parts; every team contributed to make it a wonderful experience.”
Woodstock co-captain Rignor Wangchuk said he had always been confident of victory. “We learnt from the defeat on Friday and weren’t really worried. We’d been practising the press situation and ultimately our superior conditioning saw us through.” Coach Jeff Doefler said in his 25 years of coaching basketball he had never been more proud of a team, due to their hard work, focus, determination and commitment to being a team. “I am so proud of the discipline, character and sportsmanship they displayed on and off the court during this tournament. They deserved to be champions on the court as they are also champions off the court.”
The tournament was organised by Woodstock head of sports Ajay Mark and involved 17 teams from 13 different schools.
Woodstock boys’ roster: Rignor Wangchuk, Sumair Sapam, Karan Deol, Baek Chun Kim, Mathai Puthiakunnel, Zachary Vignali, Matthew Sailo, Shivamkar Misra, Tenzin Taklha, Sanghyeok Park, Kyung Ho Jung, Se Hyun Lim.