Month: December 2017

Haris Tournament

Special exhibition game to kick off this year’s Haris Tournament

A special exhibition game featuring past and present Manchester stars will kick off this year’s Haris Charalambous Memorial Basketball Tournament, which runs from Wednesday 27th December to Friday 29th December at the Amaechi Basketball Centre.

Several exciting names are signed up, with details to follow in the next few days.

The exhibition game tips off at 4pm on day one, followed by the tournament’s first round of matches at 6pm and 8pm.

Manchester Magic U18s will face local rivals Myerscough College in their Pool A opener, while England U18s face Danish side Værløse in Pool B.

At 8pm, Spain’s CB Novaschool take on Elite Academy Antwerp from Belgium in Pool A, while Magic’s U16s meet Charnwood College Riders in Pool B.

The full tournament schedule.

Tickets for the annual three-day event are £3 for day one, £4 for day two and £5 for day three. Alternatively, you can buy a £10 ticket that covers all three days. Call 0161 881 0090 to buy your ticket now.

Manchester Mystics

Mystics U14 tame the Royals

Mystics U14 I have worked hard on their fitness since September so it is somewhat ironic that the lack of it affected us in our home game versus Tameside I last Sunday. Emily Wood was suffering from a sore throat. (Others might give it a more medically correct label but I can’t spell tonsillitis…..) Daisy Bryan had been laid low by a head cold. Zara Masadeh-Tate had been laid even lower by one. (Emily and Daisy started out at Tameside so were desperately keen to play and dragged themselves in. Zara didn’t so she didn’t.) Charli Wroe is normally fitter than 3 fiddles but she has just got back from America-to see her brother and to ascertain whether Donald Trump is either an alien or a puppet- so hadn’t trained for 3 weeks. Her health wasn’t helped by the fact that during the game she was unlucky enough to get a nosebleed following 2 heavy whacks to the face as well (or unwell) as a dead leg as a result of a late tackle. (How unlucky can one person be?) Kizzy Spence was also unavailable so, as with the fire fighters dealing with the forest fires in the US, it was all hands to the pump.

Apart from health issues (and tissues), the only low spot of the day was a 4 minute spell caused by me rather than a witch. A poor decision on my part cost us 12 points and probably made even our healthy players feel sick. 14 minutes in and we were in control at 31-16 despite having already used all available 10 players, albeit in balanced combinations. In order to give everyone more court time in the first half, I now went for my not-to-be-recommended 5 off 5 on strategy without fully considering the make-up of the 5 going on. (Should it be lipstick or mascara?) With what was ostensibly one guard and 4 forwards, we were as unbalanced as a one-legged chair and understandably(!) lost our offensive fluency and defensive cohesion, as well as most of our lead! 31-16 became 31-28 in half the twinkling of an eye.

I was strongly advised by my more astute assistant to have a re-think. To preserve family harmony, I obeyed. We duly won the remaining 3 minutes 8-2. I cast sentiment aside for the third quarter and we won it 23-6. Now 62-36 to the good, I felt I could act like a pastry chef again and mix things up for the final 10 minutes. It turned out well this time (more like a Victoria Sandwich rather than Victoria station at rush hour) as we won the quarter 18-9 to finish worthy 80-45 winners with our undeniably talented quartet of scoring machines, Olivia Forster, Charli Wroe, Nia Molloy and Lily Hayes all registering double figures yet again.

Many of our baskets came at the end of passing sequences which were very pleasing to the eye with Jo Vourliotis and Daisy Bryan showing their skills in this neglected art. The score may well have been closer had it not been for the defensive tenacity of Lia Vourliotis plus the crucial rebounding ability of the 3 Es, Eleni Vourliotis, Emily Wood and Esha Neyar because Tameside are a tall side -perhaps they should alter their name slightly to Tallside- and are strong on the boards.

With almost half the regular season gone, we remain in contention for a play-off place, having won 6 of our 7 games, losing only to Sheffield who are possibly the strongest u14 team in the whole country. Knowing the first-class attitude, team spirit and togetherness of this delightful group of players, I am quietly confident they will continue to progress. (Unless I do too many ill-advised 5 ons 5 offs!)

Thanks, as always to the staff, sorry, unpaid assistant coach plus joint team managers, James, Sam, Carys and Jim for their invaluable help. Thanks also to the table officials, Mr K Nayar and Ms F Vourliotis for doing such an excellent job as well as to all parents etc. for your wonderful support. As this is my last report before Christmas and the New Year, may I take this opportunity to wish both the people who read my reports a Merry Yuletide and a Happy New Year.


Manchester Mystics

Mystics U14 take victory in the ‘real’ Manchester Derby

Forget United v City, the real Manchester derby took place at the ABC Theatre of Dreams last Saturday when Mystics U14 II hosted Mystics U14 I in front of a sell out crowd. Mystics I, still in shock from the realisation that Mystics U16 II had pinched their black kit to go to Derby, immediately received a second shock, in what could only be termed as a shocking day so far, when Emily Taylor had the nerve to give Mystics II a 2-0 lead. Two buckets from the unshakeable Lily Hayes and one each from the high scoring duo of Olivia Forster and Nia Molloy then restored the perceived status quo. (Not one of my favourite groups. They provide as much variety as a one-flavoured box of chocolates.)

After a couple of flashes- literally (now you see her, now you don’t), from the gifted N. Mahmoud who is marginally swifter than a gale force wind, Mystics I made full use of their extra experience to instigate a whirlwind of their own in the form of a 22 point surge in just 6 minutes with the ever improving Lia Vourliotis and her promising cousin Jo Vourliotis prominent.

The second quarter was similarly productive for Mystics I. ( I was going to shorten it to MI but if I had some people might have thought I was referring to a motorway!) with a further 28 points scored principally on the break or following a series of crisp, accurate passes. Mystics II tried hard to respond and could not be faulted for their never-say-die attitude but nevertheless trailed 13-58 by half-time.

Such a large lead gave Mystics I licence to be as experimental as Dr. Jekyl and Prof. Frankenstein combined over the remaining 20 minutes. Defensive match-ups were changed and an alternative offensive philosophy was adopted. To their credit, Mystics II took full advantage , winning the third quarter 16-15 and going down by just one at 10-11 in the fourth as N. Mahmoud and E. Costa combined successfully on several occasions. G Tuck also caught the eye with a couple of nice finishes.

For Mystics I, the aforementioned Lily, Olivia and Nia all showed great skill and commendable maturity in the manner in which they shared the basketball. (They wouldn’t be so generous if cakes were involved!) This enabled one of the youngest players on show, the talented Daisy Bryan to emerge as the game’s leading scorer with 21 points. After seeing their side out-rebounded in the early stages, the spring-heeled Esha Nayar, the hard-working Zara Masadeh-Tate and the all-action Eleni Vourliotis- they are everywhere!- made sure there was no re-occurence thereafter and all 3 were most impressive in their domination of the boards.

As expected, or demanded, this highly entertaining game was played in a delightful spirit and superbly officiated on the floor and on the table.Considering the fact that all but 2 of the players on show are eligible to compete at this level again next season, the future looks even brighter than Orange.

Thanks to all who helped and supported us. Next up for Mystics I is Tameside Royals at Home this Sunday at 12:30pm.


Mystics logo

Mystics’ Jones and Allen make WBBL Stat Stars for November

Manchester Mystics’ Georgia Jones and Dominique Allen make the WBBL Stat Stars list for the month of November.

WBBL Stats Stars for November
Mystics’ @gljones4
4.3spg (1st) 7.7apg (1st) ?? — Manchester Mystics (@Mcr_Mystics) December 7, 2017

Jones averaged 4.3 steals per game (1st) and dished out 7.7 assists per game (1st) over the course of the month of November. 

WBBL Stats Stars for November
Mystics’ @dom_allen12
10.3rpg (3rd) — Manchester Mystics (@Mcr_Mystics) December 7, 2017

Allen grabbed an average of 10.3 rebounds per game (3rd).

Haris Tournament

Line-up confirmed for 2017 Haris Tournament

England Under 18s head the line-up for the 2017 Haris Memorial Tournament, which will run from 27-29 December at the Amaechi Basketball Centre in Manchester.

They will be joined by CB Novaschool Malaga (Spain), Værløse Basketball Club (Denmark), Elite Academy Antwerp (Belgium) and English basketball academies Charnwood College Riders and Myerscough College.

Completing the line-up are Manchester Magic’s U18 and U16 sides.

The eight teams will be split into two groups, with the two top progressing to the semi-finals.

The three-day event, now in its 12th year, is held annually and was founded in 2006 to remember Haris Charalambous, one of the top players to come out of the Magic programme.

Haris died suddenly while training with his NCAA Division 1 Toledo University team in October 2006.

The tournament will also have a new logo for 2017 as we look to raise the profile of one of the top junior events in Great Britain.

We think it’s a great addition to what is a truly fantastic competition.

You can buy a £10 ticket that covers all three days of the tournament.

Alternatively, you can pay for each day: £3 (27th), £4 (28th) and £5 (29th).

To book Tickets in advance call 0161 881 0090.

Community 3×3

We are holding a 3×3 community tournament for teams with kids in Years 7-9 on the middle day of the Haris.

It will run from 2pm to 3pm on Thursday 28th December.

It costs £2 per player, with squads of 4 required. Cost includes entry to that day’s Haris.

Interested teams should contact Toloe on 0161 881 0090 or at