Jacob Collis is a towering presence standing a sweet 6 foot 7. Last week in New Plymouth, the Palmerston North Boys’ High School power forward led his school to a successful defence of their Super 8 basketball title and was subsequently awarded tournament MVP.
“I think I won because of my leadership. I'm a senior player and my job is to help the younger guys around me step up,” Collis responds when asked why he believes he was chosen for the accolade.
Palmerston North has become a National force in recent times. In 2016 they were runners up at the National Championships and the likes of Oscar Oswald, Callum McRae and Collis himself have supplied the nucleus of the Manawatu Jets NBL team.
“The NBL was a real good experience. Learning things playing with and against older players has really grown my game. I've been training seven to eight times a week,” Collis reveals.
The competitive edge gained from playing in a semi-professional league has benefited a young Palmerston North roster. Despite having two Year 11 rookies, Palmerston North managed to retain their Super 8 title.
After an easy win against Gisborne Boys’ High School, Palmerston North faced eventual finalists Napier Boys’ High School in their second group fixture. The match proved to be a valuable learning lesson.
“We gave away 26 turnovers and got into foul trouble. Our bench had to dig deep which was great, but in the final we took better care of the ball,” Collis explains.
Hosts New Plymouth were subdued in the last group game before Tauranga Boys’ College were conquered in the semi-finals. Collis was impressed with the standard of those teams, but complains Palmerston North is capable of a whole lot more.
“I think we can play 50 percent better than what we did at Super 8,” Collis warns.
“We've got a lot to work on and that's encouraging,” he continued.
Napier Boys’ High School won the Super 8 in 2016 and proved to be tough finalists. Collis was praiseworthy of the opposition.
“Napier played a great all round game, but we fired up and I think that was the difference,” Collis reflects.
Colis identifies LeBron James as his favourite player. In September, Palmerston North will attempt to defend their Zone III regional title - a top six placing at that event guaranteeing a place at Nationals in Palmerston North in October.
Palmerston North Super 8 scores
Game 1 v Gisborne BHS - Win - 92-36
Game 2 v Napier BHS - Loss - 89-71
Game 3 v New Plymouth BHS - Win - 83-73
Semi Final v Tauranga BC - Win - 89-71
Final v Napier BHS - Win - 84-74
Super 8 Tournament Team
Tyresse Davies - NBHS
Clifton Bush III - NBHS
Kopere Tanoa - PNBHS
Jake McKinlay - PNBHS
Jocob Collis - PNBHS (MVP)
Chris Tupaea - TBC
Josiah Albert - TBC
Corban Mason - HBHS
Savinata Teuhema - RBHS
Aidan Tonge - RBHS
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