NPBA Champions speak of their victory

After a season of battle, the Rubios claimed victory at the Newbury Park Basketball Association (NPBA) championship last Saturday.

“I think we won because we had the most fun as a team. Every time you see one of us on the court or on the bench, you can tell that we are having an awesome time. The great coaching also didn’t hurt,” Dillon Penix, senior and co-coach of the Rubios stated.

Penix, along with Brayden Tokuyama, senior, coached their team to victory on March 4. Months of dedication and effort from all members of the team led to their victory. Anderson Hill, senior and team member, reflects on why his team won the championship.

“… It was great because we had great coaches who could help sort of guide us and teach us plays and offensive sets and defensive sets, and then having players who had played basketball before already definitely was a huge advantage, but then ultimately it was just team chemistry that brought us all the way,” Hill said.

Penix would agree stating that “When you combine players who get along with each other and play well as a team, it develops into something special and it showed with our undefeated record.”

Hill described why so many people have joined NPBA: “… (It) is a league where you go to play basketball if you’re not good enough, or just don’t feel like playing the High School team, (but still want to) play at a competitive but still fun league. So it’s a great opportunity.”

Unfortunately for Penix and Tokuyama, they will be unable to fight to retain their title in upcoming years.

“As much as we would like to stay and defend the championship, both of us are retiring from coaching NPBA because we will be going to college next year,” Penix said.

However, some members of the team will be able to try to continue its legacy. Rishab Dudhia, sophomore, plans to fight for the championship again next year.

“It was really fun because I met lots of new people … I think our team got to the championship because we were all committed to the team and we all wanted it more than the rest of the teams,” Dudhia said.

Ultimately both Penix and Hill were pleased with their NPBA experiences and are sad to say goodbye.  

“This year was so fun to be a part of because NPBA is basketball played solely for fun. Also just being a part of a team that has so much personality and so much care for each other is more than I could ask for. I’m pretty sad it’s over for us seniors, but nonetheless I am more than happy I decided to be a part of NPBA,“ Penix said.

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