Sacred Heart basketball team one to watch

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PUSH: Byron Dosdos gets practise in with his father on weekends.
Photos: Hannah Herchenbach

They have no practices, no drills, and no set plays, yet Sacred Heart’s basketball teams win game after game.

Sacred Heart deputy principal Frank McManus, who helps coordinate the school’s four basketball teams, said this year’s Year 7-8 boys A grade team – which consists entirely of Filipino boys – are a “pretty special” group.

Over the last six years McManus has seen an influx of Filipino students into the Catholic Addington school, which has practically doubled their enrolments over the last decade.

After noticing the students’ passion for basketball, Sacred Heart spent “thousands” installing a court on the grounds, which McManus said is in constant use.

“The skill level is just always increasing. They have set plays that they know, ‘cause they play [together] so much they know each other’s game.”

Sacred Heart student Joshua Dela Cruz, 12, spends his time “playing around” at the court almost every day at school, and on the weekends is playing either in club games or with his dad.

In lieu of structured practice, Dela Cruz studies and copies his favourite basketball player, Lebron James.

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ON FORM: Mart Dosdos is attached to his basketball hoop at home.

Parent Ferd Dosdos said his family “always had basketball near the house”. His two sons, Byron (pictured) and Mart, have a hoop in their driveway, and also live near Sacred Heart school, which they routinely visit on the weekends.

Sometimes there are 50 kids on the school’s basketball court on the weekend, McManus said.

“They would probably be down there [even] if they lost every week. Although they don’t like losing, because it doesn’t happen often.”

Three years ago, the team took out first place in their inaugural year in the Canterbury Primary Schools Basketball Tournament. On Friday, the team will face South Intermediate for Pioneer Stadium Basketball Competition final, a school several times their size.

Paula Wilkinson, who has been running the basketball tournaments out of Pioneer for the last 29 years, said the Sacred Heart team is “exciting to watch”.

McManus said Friday’s game would be one worth watching not only for the boys’ natural talent, but also for the lively spirit of the Filipino community that comes out to support them.

“The will bring their banners. They will bring their families,” Wilkinson said. “It’s fun. It will be deafening.”

Their final is this Friday [August 22] at Pioneer Stadium at 5PM. 

_Hannah Herchenbach for The Mail