Last season Burnaby South and Oak Bay met in the quarterfinals of the BC tourney as respective No. 8 and No 1 seeds. When they meet in the TBI quarters on Friday, it will be with those ranking numbers flipped. (Photo by Howard Tsumura property of 2018. All Rights Reserved)
Feature High School Boys Basketball

Friday at TBI 2018: Setting up the day, previewing the Rebels-Bays replay of 2018 BC’s, and chatting with South’s Sasha Vujisic

LANGLEY — Has the uniqueness of Friday’s marquee match-up struck you just yet? 

Yes, that one! 

On Friday, the Tsumura Basketball Invitational’s second set of morning quarterfinals at 10:30 a.m. includes one drenched in plotlines.

No. 1 Burnaby South vs. No. 8 Oak Bay.

Last March, in the quarterfinals of the B.C. senior boys AAAA championships, it was No. 1 Oak Bay vs. No. 8 Burnaby South, and on that occasion, the Rebels truly got their Cinderella run to the title underway with a 78-68 victory.

Here’s some of what I wrote at last March about that game:

Burnaby South held the Bays to just five points in the first quarter and just 22 at the break, and although Oak Bay rallied behind shooter Diego Maffia to take a second-half lead, the Rebels showed their pluck in coming back to outscore the Bays 30-15 in the fourth quarter.

Jusuf Sehic led the winners with 17 points and 17 rebounds. Noah Pastrana added 14 points, Stefano Benedetto 13 and Jiordano Khan 11.

Maffia scored a game-high 43 in the loss going 10-of-25 from distance, including four over the final minute of play.

Quote, unquote… you will notice that South’s top three scorers in that game have since graduated, yet they remain a tower of power.

You’ll also note that Maffia scored 43 points that day.

He’s scored like, a hundred over the past two days combined, so why would Friday be any different?

Anyways, take this as a sign from the basketball gods that we could be in for an interesting day.


Had to pass along these thought from Burnaby South’s Grade 11 forward Sasha Vujisic, who really has a grasp on things when I asked him about contrasting last season’s underdog ways with this season’s ‘now the hunted’ vibe.

Q: What have you thought of the fact that you’re suddenly the team to beat?

A: Put it this way, right now in the season, we have the targets on our back and we’re not doing a good job of dodging the shots. But we’re still standing.”

Q: How would you describe that contrast?

A: Last year we got to lurk in the dark and take the spotlight. Now we are in the spotlight. Last year we were the ones with the sword. This year we’re the ones with the shield. But we’re not perfect. If we were, we wouldn’t get any better.


Said Byrne Creek head coach Bal Dhillon to yours truly after his team’s win over Sir Charles Tupper tonight, squinting to read his Friday quarterfinal game time: “Is that an 8:45 a.m. start?”

My reply: “Yeah coach, sorry.”

His reply: “That’s OK. It’s better than 8:15.”

Yes, it’s early. But it’s also a hazard with a three-day 16-team tournament. We thank our coaches for understanding.

8:45 a.m. — Terry Fox vs. Byrne Creek, Kelowna vs. Holy Cross

10:30 a.m. — Burnaby South vs. Oak Bay, North Delta vs. Lord Tweedsmuir.

The semifinals go at 6, 7:45 p.m.

If you’re reading this story or viewing these photos on any other website other than one belonging to a university athletic department, it has been taken without appropriate permission. In these challenging times, true journalism will survive only through your dedicated support and loyalty. and all of its exclusive content has been created to serve B.C.’s high school and university sports community with hard work, integrity and respect. Feel free to drop us a line any time at

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *