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Victorian Universities welcome international challenge

Victoria University, Melbourne University and Monash University played host to Fo-Guang University women’s basketball team and Chien-Hsin University of Science and Technology men’s basketball team in August.

These games provided a wonderful experience for players from both sides and further galvanised the bond between Australia and Chinese Taipei on the university sport front.

A total of six games were played showcasing a high level of skill, speed and physicality. The Fo-Guang University women won two of out of three games, and the men from Chien-Hsin University of Science and Technology did the same.

Victoria University women’s team however denied the visitors the clean sweep with Centre Nikki Spencer discussing the experience of playing against an international side.

“This kind of international competition is so valuable and it’s good to get to get to know everyone before you go away as well. In terms of a warm up match (for Nationals Div 1), to have a team that is so physical and a team that plays a lot differently to us, to be able to compete with them is obviously a lot harder than trying to compete with someone from Australia because they play differently,” said Nikki.

“The major difference was that a lot of them could shoot! So instead of picking up one shooter you have to pick up all of them. Then there’s the way they defend, they are a lot more physical than what we are used to. During our games here (in Australia) there is a lot less contact,” she said.

“It was a really physical game and we were not expecting this at all. We know that they’re the champions in Chinese Taipei, but we didn’t understand what that meant in terms of our competition here.

“They came out and were very physical, but we took it to them which was good. We just needed to stop complaining in the first quarter and play through it.

“In the end we won by three points, so it was great to get the win,” she said.

In terms of match practice for the upcoming Nationals Div 1 competition, Nikki said the bonding experience between the playing group was invaluable and despite the ‘friendly’ tag on the game, the match was still highly competitive.

“It was great to use this game as experience. It was more about team bonding and about working out how each of us play and that sort of stuff as opposed to focusing on the opponent,” said Nikki.