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Portland hosts epic CBL grand finals

THE Portland Basketball Association hosted some heated grand finals on Saturday when the Country Basketball League’s South West Conference came to town.

In the women’s clash it was Millicent who took out an upset victory against Warrnambool before Mount Gambier gained some late composure against Geelong to earn the men’s title.

The women’s match was a huge showdown with Warrnambool controlling the early stages of the game before some inaccuracy at the foul line allowed Millicent to get a look in.

Millicent’s ability to maintain composure late in the game and execute when it counted saw them win, 78-62.

In the men’s contest Mount Gambier’s composure late in the fourth quarter saw them fend off an oncoming Geelong side and claim the title, 89-78.

It was a huge event at the stadium with the 3RPC Radio, Portland Danz X-tensions and singer Patricia Thompson all adding to the show.

Event organiser Geordie Cook said there was a great turnout across both games with the night going off without a hitch.

“Both games were wonderful grand finals and I think everyone was blown away with the level of basketball that was on show,” Cook said.

“The night ran really well, and I think preparation helps; I spent a lot of time in the lead up to it making sure we were organised and ready.

“There was so much on offer with Patricia Thompson singing the national anthem before both games and then the Portland Danz X-tensions doing a show.

“We also had the 3RPC radio guys there and they did a great job covering the games.

“Not only is it about hosting basketball games it’s also about getting community involvement and helping out other parts of the community.

“The 3RPC radio had people listening from Geelong, Millicent, Warrnambool and Mount Gambier so that kind of coverage is huge.”

Travelling teams and spectators were all impressed with how the night unfolded with plenty of positive feedback making the effort well worth it.

“It was electric in the stadium; during the women’ game it was so loud and there would have been close to 300 people there,” Cook said.

“Speaking to players and coaches that came down they were saying that in most other stadiums the seating is one-sided; but in Portland people are on both sides. Mount Gambier’s coach even spoke to his players at training and said be prepared, playing at Portland is like being in a cauldron, you’re in the thick of it when you’re out on the court.

“We had Basketball Victoria representative Sammy Cartwright come down and he was full of praise and really happy that we got to host.”

A huge focus when applying to host the grand finals was giving the Portland Basketball Association exposure to the basketball world in Victoria.

“We really wanted to put a shining light on Portland and set a foundation for some exciting things to come,” Cook said.

“The board is committed to doing good things for the members and that means both playing opportunities and opportunities to watch and be involved in basketball from the sidelines. “I’ve loved taking on the challenge and even though we don’t have the facilities and prestige of places like Warrnambool we’ve got a positive attitude that’s built from people and we can make a lot happen with that.”

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