The Coca Cola X-Mas Tournament in Kortrijk is organized for the 14th time. The first one was back in 2006!
2018 was the year of consolidation after several years of fast growing. The organization took the dcision to strengthen the internal structure, without increasing the number of participants. Here again, it has been proven that quality is more important than quality, as the level of the competitions proved to be very high.
We hosted again the All Star Game of the Belgian professional basketball league, as well as a FIBA referee clinic. For the first time, we also were able to provide livestats of every game in the MU19 competition.
Besides the level of the competitions, we need to mention the growing audience, especially in the women’s competitions, where several games were played before in front of a lot of spectators. And, the girls gave us two thrilling finals. In WU19, Sint Katelijne Waver proved to be to strong for the Israel Basketball Academyn the final, for the second year in a row. In WU17 and WU14, the finals were decided on the buzzer. In WU17, the AWBB selection (versus Belgrade Baasketball) and in WU14 Södertalje (against Basket Namur) were the lucky ones.
In the men’s competition, we had a very high level final, in which Ostend (already winner in 2017) was able to beat the strong Americans from Northfield Mount Hermon. In MU17 the Israel Basketball Academy finished first, and in MU14 Basket Woluwe was able to counter BC Kharkov in the last minutes of the final.
In the U12 competitions, the local team of Kortrijk was victorious in the Men’s competition, while our brand new Women had a first winner: Spirou Ladies Charleroi. In the competition for the youngest, U10, BBC Croonen Lommel proved to be the strongest team.
The main innovation of the 2017 event was the permanent livestreaming of the main games of our event, and the creation of a mixed zone in our main venue. Livestats were also published for the first time, as a testcase. We took a huge step forward in the field of media and scouting in this edition.
Regarding the competitions: Well, we never had that many foreign winners in the different age groups. The Under 19 category was an exception. In Men Under 19 we even had a Belgian final, between Limburg and 2016 winner Ostend. This year Limburg United proved to be the strongest team. It needs however to be said that the most exciting game was the one between Joventud Badalona and Alba Berlin. In this game, Badalona was 24 points behind halfway the 3rd quarter, but succeedid however in winning by 6. In Women Under 19, Sint Katelijne Waver was by far the strongest team, and had not to many trouble with Ludwigsburg (Germany) in the final.
The most exciting final was the Men Under 17 one, where the Zaza Pachulia Academy (Georgia) beated Ostend, after a thrilling game. In the Women’s Under 17, the Belgrade Basketball Federation (Serbia) was stronger than the local team from Waregem.
The Under 14 age group gave us also 2 exciting winners: the Fikeo Basketball Team (France) surprised everybody, including Limburg United during the final. And in Women Under 14, we could add a big name from the European basketball to the winners list: Fenerbahce Istanbul (Turkey) won the final against Notre Dame Leuven.
In U12 and U12, Frenchy Phenoms (France) proved indeed to be phenomenal, by winning in these two age groups. These spectacular teams showed their strength during the whole event. Not surprisingly, as they gather players from all over France, and even abroad !
We hosted the FIBA referee clinic for the second time in a row, and this added once more quality in the field of officiating.
In MU19 Basket@Sea Ostend (Belgium) surprised everybody by winning the final against Limburg United (Belgium). A complete Belgian final, but both teams showed their strength during the tournament, by beating some very strong international teams. The team of Ostend is, by the way, one of the better teams in the Belgian second senior division. WU19 gave us a complete Dutch final. The national team Under 18 proved to be too strong for the team of BV Katwijk.
Belgian winners in U17: Limburg United was very strong and won the MU17 competition. The same applied for the Flemish selection in WU17, after a very exciting final against BS Gloria Moscow (Russia).
In MU14, the Israel Basketball Academy was unbeatable. Rarely saw a U14 team that strong, technically and physically. In WU14, BBC Deinze Nazareth created the surprise by beating favorites DBC Waregem, in a Belgian final.
A local success in U12: The Kortrijk Basketball Academy ended up victorious.
The 10th edition. Again some improvements. We hosted for the first time a FIBA referees clinic, which allowed us to have 18 European referees officiating in the Men U19 Invitational competition. As we had a lot of candidates in the MU19 Invitational category, a Challenge Round was organized in this age group. The best teams in this Challenge Round qualified for the ‘real’ Invitational Tournament. Furthermore, a G-basketball tournament with 4 Belgian teams was organized for the first time, and we added a new game site: Izegem.
The MU19 Invitational competition, with again 12 teams, gave us some exciting games and the best final in the history of the tournament. The Israel Basketball Academy was able to beat the Belgrade Basketball Association. The latter team finished runner up for the second year in a row. This year, Telenet Ostend proved to be the surprise of the tournament. They went through the Challenge Round and finished 3rd in our main event, beating the national team of Georgia. It needs to be said that Georgia played 3 impressing games, before getting beaten by Belgrade in the semi-finals.
The MU19 Open competition gave us a surprise: Sparta Bertrange (Luxemburg), a traditional participant won the final, against SPM Shoeters Den Bosch (Netherlands), a team coming from the Challenge Round. The Centre de Formation AWBB finished 3rd, beating the AWBB selection in a local derby.
In MU17 (we changed the age group, for being in line with other European competitions), our competition is becoming stronger year after year. The difference between 1st and 8th in the final ranking proved to be very limited. The Limburg United Lotto Academy (Belgium) ended up victorious. This academy gathers the better players from the east side of our country. They won the final against TSV Charlottenburg, a new participant. The Get Better Academy Prague (Czech Republic) was victorious over BS Leiden in the game for 3rd and 4th place.
The MU14 competition finished with a beautiful final between two neighbours: the Port of Antwerp Giants were just a bit too strong for Oxaco Boechout. The 3rd place for City of Birmingham (England) was a nice surprise.
WU19 gave us a thrilling final between the Israel Basketball Academy and Jolly Jumpers Tubbergen (Netherlands). The Dutch team won the game by 1 point. Last year’s winners, Grasshoppers (Netherlands), ended up 3rd.
From this year on, WU17 became the main age group in our women’s competition, which resulted in a very strong roster. It was no surprise that the national team of Germany finished as winners, although they had a lot of trouble with the Flemish Selection (Belgium) in the final. Jurmala (Latvia), with also a lot of national team players, finished 3rd.
In MU12 and MU10 the competition remained basically regional, although we registered some Dutch and French teams. In MU12 Okapi Aalst won the final against surprising team Bavi Gent, and in MU10 Olympic Mont sur Marchienne won for the second year in a row. This year, they have beaten Kortrijk Basketball Academy in the finals, by 1 point…
Another year, another record: 108 teams, and for the first time a team from the United States.
New in the tournament were the WU17 age group and the demonstration games in both wheelchair basketball and G-Basketball. We were also happy with the increasing number of spectators on all courts. The “X-Mas Tournament” has become a reference in the country and even abroad.
In the MU19 Invitational, with 12 teams on the roster, Antwerp Giants became the first team to win two years in a row. After a thrilling semi final against the American team of Northfield Mount Hermon, with a decision on the buzzer, the were stronger than the Belgrade Basketball Academy in the final. Northfield Mount Hermon finished third after a win over the surprise of the tournament: the Get Better Academy Prague.
The MU19 Open age group was won for the first time after the split Invitational-Open by a non Belgian team: Perkunas from Lithuania won the final against the Limburg Basketball Academy, who made their first official appearance on our tournament. Falco Gent (Belgium), a traditional participant finished 3rd.
In MU16, Antwerp Giants followed the example of their U19 team and won the tournament, against CBA Amsterdam. The “Centre de Formation” AWBB was a strong 3rd.
CBA Amsterdam was however the strongest in MU14. They won over the local team of BT Kortrijk in the finals. Antwerp Giants, for sure a leading youth program in the country, was placed 3rd.
WU19 reserved us a whole lot of surprises. Finally Grasshoppers Katwijk (Netherlands) was much to strong in the final for our 2013 winners, BMS Copenhagen. Surprise:In the first round BMS Copenhagen had an easy win over Grasshoppers. Slovanka Prague, a team that impressed a lot of observers, finished 3rd. They were beaten by Grasshoppers by 1 point in the semi finals.
As said before, WU17 was a new age group, and it was a succesfull initiative. BBA Ludwigsburg (Germany) was our first winner, beating the Israel Basketball Academy in the finals. The Flemish selection ended up 3rd.
U12 and U10 competitions were kept on the national level. Winners were Tiger Zwevegem/Deerlijk (U12) and Olympic Mont Sur Marchienne (U10). Both competitions were followed by a lot of spectators, and the finals, on the “central court” provided us with a lot of spectacle on and around the court.
we hosted for the first time more than 100 teams: 104 to be correct. This due to the fact that U12 and U10 were added to the program. We were very happy to host our first team from the American continent: Volontaires de Sherbrooke (Canada) was one of the participants in Women U19.
A slight modification was made to the age groups, upon request of several federations: U18 became U19.
The third edition of the Men U19 Invitational, with 12 teams participating, gave us some very exciting games and a first Belgian winner: Port of Antwerp Giants played a tremendous tournament and won the final against the very strong Israel Basketball Academy. It becomes a habit: the Flemish selection finished third.
In the MU19 Open competition, the Basketball Academy of Wallonia (CR AWBB) was a very strong winner, beating BBA Ludwigsburg in the finals. The third place was for another Belgian team, Falco Gent.
In Men Under 16, we had, for the first time, some very strong teams from Spain and the Czech Republic participating. The proof: Canarias Basketball Academy was victorious in the finals, beating Port of Antwerp Giants, the strongest Belgian team. The Catalunian Basketball Academy 100×100 Olost (Spain) finished 3rd.
In Men U14, we had a local final. Kortrijk Sport was able to beat Racing Brugge, and prooved later in the year to be by far the strongest Belgian team. BS Leiden (Netherlands) lost in the semi final only by one point from Kortrijk, and they ware able to finish 3rd.
In WU19, the competition took a huge step forward, with 16 teams from 11 different countries participating. The winner, and the big surprise of the tournament, was BMS Copenhagen that succeeded in winning the tournament with a very limited number of players. They had however a tremendous MVP in their team. The Flemish Selection ended as runner up, while the third place was taken by the Latvian team from Riga, another very positive surprise !
we hosted 71 teams from 15 European countries. We welcomed for the first time teams from Denmark, Slovenia, Serbia, Hungary and Poland. Ypres was replaced as game location by the nearby Deerlijk, which limited the travelling distances.
Te second edition of the MU18 Invitational was extended to 10 teams. Belgrade Basketball Association came out as winners, beating the national team of Hungary in the final. The national team of Belgium ended up third, like the year before. The regular MU18 competition gave us a Belgian final, in which Okapi Aalst was to strong for the local club Kortrijk Sport.
In MU16, the national team of the Netherlands (U15) was to strong in the final for their Belgian opponents from Gembo Borgerhout.
In MU14 Okapi Aalst (Belgium) was, as in MU18, a finalist but the victory went to Germany. BBLZ Mittelhessen Giessen proved to be the strongest team in that age group.
The second edition of the WU18 competition was, again, a thrilling event. The final was decided in overtime. ZKK Triglav (Slovenia) was able to beat BK Petrzalka Bratislava from Slovakia. The latter team ended up as runner-up for the second time in a row. We hope that they will be back to try to do better in 2013.
a new game location was added: Ypres, one of the traditional basketball cities in the country and the capital of women basketball in Belgium. That year, the first Belgacom Invitational MU18 was organized, where 8 high level teams were gathered, and the first girls competition (WU18) was added to the program. All competitions together, 68 teams participated, from 12 differenct countries and we hosted for the first time teams from Israel and Slovakia.
The Belgacom Invitational MU18 was won by Atletas Kaunas (Lithania) after a thrilling final against the famous Canarias Basketball Academy (Spain). The national team of Belgium ended up 3rd, after beating the national team of England. The regular MU18 competition was won by BCM (Gravelines), beating Falco Gent (Belgium) in the final.
MU16 had a Belgian final. Kortrijk Sport (later that season national finalist) was to strong for Willibies Antwerp. It needs to be mentioned however that the latter team was in fact a MU15 team. BBA Ludwigsburg won the third place.
In MU14 we had a local winner: BS Waregem won this competition, beating a French regional selection “Nord Pas de Calais” U13 in the final. BBLZ Giessen (Germany) finished in 3rd position, but was only beaten after a very close game in the semi finals against Waregem.
The first Women U18 competition was a test, but turned out to be an exciting event. The national team of the Netherlands U17 won the competition after beating BK Petrzalska Bratislave (Slovakia) in the final. Belgium U17, who lost their semi final against Bratislava by 1 point, finished 3rd.
An Wauters, multiple European player of the year, accepted to lend her name to the MVP award of the girls competition.
the international participation increased a lot. We hosted 54 participants, amongst whom 30 teams came from abroad. The German teams had discovered the tournament, which resulted in a huge participation of JBBL teams. We also added a new organizing club: Betafence Zwevegem.
In the U18 age group, five national teams were on the participants list, and we could welcome our first Czech participant from Prague. Norway was to strong for Belgium after a very challenging final, while the famous “Centre de formation” of Gravelines (France) won the 3th place.
In the U16 age group , the Flemish selection was victorious, after a thrilling final against the German team of Ludwigsburg. Eifeltowers Den Bosch (Netherlands) ended up 3rd, and could have won the tournament if they had had some more bench players.
The Flemish selection was also victorious in the U14 age group, dominated by the Belgian teams. In their final they had to work hard to beat the strong team of Bavi Vilvoorde. Cators Braine took the 3rd place.
In this edition, the legendary coach “Van Kers” lended his name for the first time to the MVP awards.
the tournament took a huge step forward and became really international, with the much appreciated cooperation of the city of Kortrijk and Wevelgem. Competitions were spread over three days and an age group was added: boys U14 were new on the program.
The decision to start a cooperation between Kortrijk and Wevelgem was a huge success, as it created a lot of new opportunities. Teams were accomodated in the nearby Altia hotel and Ibis hotel.
The level of the competition took an important step forward. We could register teams from Belgium, England, the Netherlands, Germany, Luxemburg, France, Spain, Lithuania and Latvia.
In Boys U18, were we registered 12 teams, the Spanish team of CBiUM Manresa was victorious, although Waregem (Bel) proved to be a tough opponent in the final. David ValverdÃ¹ of CBiUM Manresa was elected MVP of the tournament, and to complete the successstory, he also won the 3 point contest.
In Boys U16, we had 14 teams competing. The Flemish selection (a pre selection for the national team with the best players of Flemish part of Belgium) was to strong for Castors Braine (Bel) in the finals.
In Boys U14 (8 teams), the team of Tornados Kaunas proved to be the strongest, after a thrilling final against the organizing club Kortrijk Sport CB.
In this edition, we focussed upon improving the quality of the organization, on the court (thanks to a lot of very strong teams competing) and off the court (high level hotels, services for the teams…). As this was a first “huge” organisation, the lessons learned from this edition will be taken into consideration for the 2010 X-Mas Cup.
we welcomed again 8 teams in the U16category, while we could count on 10 participants in the U18 category. Taken into account the court availability, the maximum we were able to register. For the first time, a national team was participating: the England U16 national team participated in both the U16 and U18 tournament. It was by then no surprise that England was victorious in the U16 competition. In the U18 competition however, the very strong BBC Kontich went home with the cup. The better players of this team were transferred after the season to the second division team Sint Jan Antwerpen.
we were rewarded for the hard work during the First edition. In both categories we welcomed 8teams, and the level clearly increased. Sanex Antwerp Giants was victorious in U18. Not a surprise, as several of italies players were practicing with the First division senior team. The U16 winner, Duva Gistel Oostende was in the same year runner up in the Cup of Flanders.
The first edition of the X-Mas Tournament was organized in Wevelgem. One day was foreseen for Boys Under 18 and one day was scheduled for Under 16. We aimed at having 8 teams competing in both categories. We succeeded in the U16 category, but only 5 teams participated in the U18 competition. The former Power Wevelgem was successful in both categories. Not surprising, as several Wevelgem youngsters already played in the senior team in the second national division.