North Harbour consolidated their status as New Zealand's number one basketball region by taking out both the men's and women's finals of the Under-23 National Championships played at the QEII Youth Centre on Saturday night.

It was a tournament to remember for the Fotu family from North Harbour, with Tall Black Isaac Fotu and his New Zealand under-18 rep sister Ella both making their respective tournament teams and taking out the tournament's MVP awards.

In the women's section, North Harbour defeated Canterbury in the morning semifinal and took on Waikato in the final after they defeated Capital in their semi.

The final was a low-scoring affair, with North Harbour winning comfortably by 57-34.


The men's final was way more spectacular and competitive, with North Harbour finally prevailing 101-92 over Counties Manukau.

The highlight was the clash between young Tall Blacks Isaac Fotu and Reuben Te Rangi. Fotu is a freshman at the UH-Manoa campus in Hawaii and both starred for the Tall Blacks on their recent overseas venture.

The pair were teammates when New Zealand won the inaugural FIBA Youth 3X3 Championship in Italy two years ago and have been among the standout performers in Tauranga over the past four days.

Tournament Teams:

Derone Raukawa, Auckland
Chris Duthie, Canterbury
Shea Ili, Counties Manukau
Issac Fotu, North Harbour
Stan Williams, Wellington
Jordan Ngatai, Poriria
Javaan Mumtaz, Counties Manukau
Reuben Te Rangi, Counties Manukau
Inga Solofuti, North Harbour
Marco Alexander, North Harbour


Jacinta Beckley, Capital
Shinae Blair, North Harbour
Kalani Purcell, Waikato
Tessa Boagni, Canterbury
Dionne Darlington Martin, Waikato
Wuanyei Ah-Hing, Waikato West
Ella Fotu, North Harbour
Krystal Leger-Walker, Waikato
Laykin Paenga, Capital
Deena Franklin, North Harbour


Issac Fotu, North Harbour
Ella Fotu, North Harbour