The Canterbury Knights embark on their third HoopNation Tournament this Labour Weekend in Tauranga
The Cantabs battle it out with seven other teams in the Men’s Elite grade that features former Tall Blacks and current National Basketball League players from around the country. HoopNation has 151 teams including 60 senior teams.
“The Knights were establised to take on strong teams, and we look forward to the challenges ahead by playing together and for each other,” said Captain Derek Albertsen.
“Anytime we represent Canterbury we play extra hard and with passion. This group is young and fizzing to get out there,” said Vice Captain Nick Erwood.
The Knights face First Chapter from Hamilton to start their tournament on Friday. On Saturday the team takes on Rack City, including NBL players from the Hawks, Airs and Giants, including Tall Black guard Derone Raukawa. The final pool game on Sunday is against the NBL intended 2021 team the Franklin Bulls from Auckland.
Effervescent guard Albertsen (4th year with the Knights) leads the team full of standouts from the local Canterbury Basketball Men’s Premier competition. Vice Captain forward Nick Erwood is back for his third HoopNation campaign. Shooting guard Matt Mischewski is joined in the back court by point guard Connor McLaughlin and wing Ben Hall. Rams swingman Toby Gillooly will fill important rebounding and defensive responsibilities. High flying forward Barclay Miller continues to make giant strides in his game. Joel Jeffrey debuts for the Knights after helping the Sunbury Jets to a Big V championship in Melbourne in September.
The Canterbury Knights have increased the frequency of their schedule this year starting with a successful 5-1 tour of Melbourne against Big V teams in February, followed by a 3-0 sweep in Dunedin including wins over Otago and Southland in March. In July the Knights defeated Otago University in a close matchup in Christchurch. Canterbury also won the Global Tournament at home a month ago, which helped form some combinations for HoopNation.
Some notable Knights plying their trade overseas are Taylor Britt, a development player for the Perth Wildcats and Brent Fisher who is playing in Germany. Mike Karena and Tony Tolovae are practice players with the Cairns Taipans and Sydney Kings respectively.
Knights stalwart and the main driver for the team’s re-establishmemt in 2016, Marty Davison is unavailable due to family commitments.
Knights 2019 HoopNation Draw:
Game 01, Fri 25 Oct, 6pm, vs First Chapter – Live Stats Link
Game 02, Sat 26 Oct, 3pm, vs Rack City – Live Stats Link
Game 03, Sun 27 Oct, 5pm, vs Franklin Bulls – Live Stats Link
Playoffs, Mon 28 Oct – Placing Game Live Stats Link
Derek Albertsen, (4th year with Knights) Captain, Atami
Nick Erwood (3rd) Vice-Captain, Pioneer
Connor McLaughlin (1st) Gators
Matt Mischewski (2nd) Gators
Ben Hall (1st) Lincoln University
Toby Gillooly (1st) Checkers
Barclay Miller (1st) Gators
Joel Jeffrey (1st) Atami
Coach: Piet Van Hasselt (4th)
Stats: Sharon Erwood (4th)
Manager: Lisa Morrison (1st)