Some good competition awaited the Varsity Boys Basketball team at the NISSA Championship Tournament in Milan. Although TASIS won the two preliminary games relatively easily, the Tigers used these opportunities to work on their tactical approach for future games, their structure both defensively and offensively, and the mental part of the game. They knew they would need discipline and focus if they were to accomplish their goals.
In the semifinal game, TASIS was matched up against the host team, Scuola Europa. Although the hosts led an uninspired and lethargic TASIS squad for much of the game, the Tigers dug deep towards the end to tie it up with some key defensive plays and timely baskets before taking the lead for good early in the 3-minute overtime period.
In the finals, the TASIS boys once again faced a strong American School of Milan (ASM) team that is always a tough rival. This time in a more meaningful game for the first-place trophy, ASM was fully motivated to end the losing streak it has had against TASIS over the past two years. To their credit, ASM played extremely well. They were ahead for most of the game but were always within striking distance on the scoreboard. After TASIS pulled ahead in the final minutes, ASM struck at the very end of regulation to tie the game up and send it into overtime. In the overtime period, the teams exchanged the lead several times, but with only a minute or so to go TASIS's key players came through with some big plays. Center Cam Koprulu '19, fighting through a foot injury, came down with some timely defensive rebounds, as did forward Nicholas Brinkmann '20, who enjoyed his best tournament as a TASIS starter with a strong presence at both ends of the court and some excellent work at the free throw line.
Point guard Pablo Rivero '20 played a key role in managing the ball exceptionally well in the final game and throughout the tournament in general. Egor Gerasimenko '21 also had a strong tournament, including some clutch outside shooting at key moments in the final two games.
Congrats to the Tigers for a well-deserved first-place finish!