Basketball in Burnaby has a promising future thanks to the South Burnaby Metro Club youth basketball program.
The South Burnaby Eagles made Basketball B.C. history last weekend, winning an unprecedented third consecutive Metro under-13 boys A club championship at the Richmond Olympic Oval.
The Eagles defeated RBL Rebels 73-59 in the A Division final behind an 18-point effort from Vince Sunga and 15 more by teammate Eric Urmaza.
The unbeaten Eagles breezed into the championship final with a 90-20 victory over Champlain. Jovanic Castillo led the way with 20 points, while Cam Morris chipped in with 16.
Burnaby also scored 70 or more points in three separate wins in preliminary play in the 24-team provincial youth basketball competition.
Team scoring leader Curtis Laigo, with 69 total points, led the Eagles with 18 and 16 points, respectively, in wins over AthElite and RBL Ballers, while Castillo had a team-high 14 points against Kelowna. Tyler Pearce added 15 points in the win over the Ballers.
The Eagles fashioned an undefeated 31-0 record against local u-13 and u-15 competition this season. The team was 8-3 south of the border in the Amateur Athletic Union league in Washington State.
The Metro Club also achieved another club championship first, placing two other teams in the elite A division.
The u-13 All-Stars finished up in fifth place, defeating the RBL Ballers 49-36. Kimani Dorsey led Burnaby with 10 points, while Aaron Cruz potted six.
Richard Galicia had nine points and Xavion Fleary had six in a 49-35 win over the surprise South Burnaby u-12 team.
Abram Robiso, Noah Pastrana and Francis Federipe, with a team-high 13 points in a 57-48 loss to Champlain, also put up big numbers in the 2-2 All-Stars' other two defeats.
The u-12 Eagles were an 56-35 upset winner over North Shore's 3D Elite in an initial divisional seeding matchup to become the third South Burnaby team in the top division.
Vincente Balitaan was the u-12 team high scorer with 35 total points, including 15 in the upset win over 3D.
Miguel Ortinero scored 13 of his 30 total points in South Burnaby's narrow 43-42 loss to Kelowna in the final game that left the u-12s in eighth place.
Deshawn Wong also finished the competition with 30 points, while B.J. Clarke, Jaden de Leon and Raphael Alcoreza, with 13 points against Kelowna, also posted strong numbers for the young Eagles.
The u-13 Raptors won a second provincial title for South Burnaby, placing first in the B division. The Raptors downed 3D Elite 72-65 in the B championship final.
Zack Underhill led the way with a whopping 30 points for South Burnaby. Felix Zhou added 10 for the winners.
Underhill led the 5-1 Raptors in team scoring with 78 total points at the provincials. Joshua Jaurigue and Felix Zhou, with 56 and 41 points, respectively, also played key roles in the championship run.
Jaurigue led the Raptors past TCYBA 53-41 with 16 points in the B semifinal.
Brandon Jung and Jeremiah Heeney, with 11 and 10 points respectively, were the high scorers in a 19-point win over TCYBA 2.
Mario Orenzo netted eight points in South Burnaby's earlier 55-52 win over 3D Elite. The Raptors only loss was a 50-40 defeat to Champlain in the opening game. Underhill and Jaurigue had eight points apiece in the loss.
The u-13 South Burnaby girls placed tied for fifth in championship play with a 1-2 record.