TACLOBAN, Philippines –
A basketball tournament was held between members of the U.S. Navy, Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF), Royal Australian Armed Forces and locals from Tacloban as part of Pacific Partnership 2014, July 5.
"We played this tournament for Pacific Partnership hosted by the Philippines," said Operations Specialist 1st Class Richard Jackson Jr., the team lead. "I got the best ten qualified Sailors to be on the team and the JS Kunisaki had their team as well."
There were a total of six teams that played in the tournament. It was single-elimination two referees officiating the games. The locals crowded around the edges of the court and watched as they cheered for the players.
"The team that won were called the Stormtroopers and they are from the Philippine Army," said Jackson. "The team that eliminated us was called the Enforcers and I believe they were local police officers."
Jackson said his favorite part of the event was the interaction between the teams and the locals.
"I was glad to see the community was still going strong especially after the devastation from the typhoon. The kids were giving us high-fives and saluting us. I wish we could've made it to the finals but they were the better team today," said Jackson.
Pacific Partnership is in its ninth iteration and is the largest annual multilateral humanitarian assistance and disaster relief preparedness mission conducted in the Asia-Pacific region.