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Alex Gonzales

St Kevin’s College could not repeat its 2016 heroics but managed another solid effort at the national secondary schoolboys A basketball tournament in Palmerston North last week.

The defending champion finished fifth in New Zealand at the tournament for schools with smaller rolls.

St Kevin’s won two and lost two of its pool games, beat Greymouth 91-82 in a playoff game, and beat Manukura 88-77 in the playoff for fifth and sixth.

“Of course, we were a little bit disappointed after last year’s result,” captain Alex Gonzales said.

“But I think everyone tried their absolute best, and left it out on the court, and that’s all you can ask for.

“We bounced back really well to win the final two games and finish on a high, and I’m pretty proud of the boys for that.”

St Kevin’s import Cai Zepeng was named in the tournament team.

Seven of this year’s squad, including five players who tasted national championship glory last year, would not be back in 2018, Gonzales said.

“It’s kind of the end of an era. But there is still some strong talent left in the school, and the younger boys will hold the fort for a few years yet.”