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Tabianin buzzing in the backcourt

Carries on family tradition for Hornets in 2013 WIT

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Playing point guard for the Tec Voc Hornets is a tradition in the Tabianin family.

Now in his third and final high school season, Arenz Tabianin is buzzing in the backcourt for the Hornets, as did his brothers Aerron and Arvin before him.

But the tradition will die when Arenz graduates.

"Arenz is the final Tabianin to play point guard for the mighty Hornets," said head coach Garth McAlpine, in his 15th season. "I've checked around and there aren't any more. A few cousins, but no more brothers."

Arenz and the Hornets are hosting the 38th annual Winnipeg Invitational Tournament (WIT), a 10-team high school boys' basketball tournament that will open on Wednesday and conclude with Saturday's championship final at 6 p.m.

"Both (brothers) were really good players so they've always expected me to do great things," said Arenz. "When they watch me play, they're typical big brothers, they always let me know what I should be doing. Lots of advice about what I need to work on."

Playing basketball since he was eight years old, Arenz learned the game by shooting around with his brothers, but has worked hard to develop his own style as a playmaker.

"I would say I'm more of a passer, I want to make my teammates score. My brothers were both good shooters and scorers," said Arenz. "Because I'm 5-foot-2, point guard is really the only position I can play. But growing up playing with them really taught me a lot."

McAlpine said Arenz has won the longevity battle among the brothers.

"Arenz has been a good, consistant player for us for three years," said McAlpine, who coached Aerron for one season and Arvin for two.

McAlpine said the 2013 WIT has undergone two major changes. The tournament is being held about two weeks earlier than in the past and this year, there are only local teams involved. In past years, teams came in from other provinces and the United States.

"Basketball is at such a high level in our province right now that we decided to go with all local teams," McAlpine said.

He noted that numerous members of Manitoba's team that won silver at the Canadian Under-17 Championship last summer are competing, such as Tynan Reyes of the Garden City Fighting Gophers, Justus Alleyn, Malik Irwin and Billy Yaworsky of the St. Paul's Crusaders, Kuet Kuet of the John Taylor Pipers and Joseph Medrano of the Sisler Spartans.

Five of the 10 teams are ranked in the province's top 10 including defending champion and No. 1-ranked Garden City, No. 4 St. Paul's, No. 8 John Taylor Pipers, No. 9 Daniel McIntyre Maroons and the No. 10 Kelvin Clippers.

Those teams are all AAAA schools, designated by school size and team ability, while Tec Voc is a AAA school.

"The tournament is pretty special for us this year because it's the last year for a few of us," said Arenz, whose Grade 12 teammates include Yeni Yeni, Riley Guinto and Sham Guirgis. "It's going to be really good for our team to play the quad-A teams to help us improve. Playing in the WIT tournament is so fun and exciting because the whole school gets hyped about WIT."

Other teams in the tournament include the Maples Marauders, Sisler Spartans, MBCI Hawks and Sturgeon Heights Huskies.

The school's television and radio students will broadcast all games and live statistics on the Internet through the school's website Twitter: @WFPAshleyPrest

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 15, 2013 C4

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