Coach Silva Respects WW Hoops Talent

When it comes to OIA post-season Division I basketball tournaments, Windward schools practically can sign their own figure to the conference checkbook, having produced all but one of the league’s champions since the OIA separated into divisions in 2008. They also have won the last six OIA DII titles and six of eight overall.

Farrington head coach Allan Silva is well-aware of the history, but expects there to be more parity than before this winter throughout the league.

“There are some really good teams in the West this year, like Mililani and Campbell,” said Silva, whose team once again is in the discussion of elite OIA teams, joining Kalaheo and Kahuku.

The outcome of Farrington’s upcoming games with Windward schools could go a long way in determining the fate of its season. A longtime Windward resident, Silva starred for Kailua in the mid-’70s before moving on to play for Chaminade.

Windward fans had their first look at Silva’s current team last week when the Governors played in Kalaheo’s Pete Smith Classic. (Silva and Smith grew up on the same block of Hualani Street.)

“Pete had a big effect on my life, so when Alika called me up and invited us, I told him it would be an honor,” Silva said. “Pete was a few years older than me and an all-star basketball player. When he would come home from college on breaks, he would come to Kailua and he would work with me. He was a great technician on offensive moves.”

In addition to coaching against Alika Smith, Pete’s son and Kalaheo’s current coach, Silva also will coach against first-year Kahuku head coach Alan Akina, who is the son of Hiram Akina, longtime area coach who won OIA boys titles at both Mililani and Kahuku.

“Playing (Windward teams) makes it enjoyable, but it’s also very competitive,” Silva admitted. “I know these coaches as friends. I used to play against Hiram when he was at BYUH and I was at Chaminade. Alan is picking up right where Hiram left off.”

Now in his 11th season with Farrington, Silva saw his teams win DII state titles at the school in 2008 and 2011. The Govs now are defending OIA Red champion and state runner-up after losing a close one to Iolani in the DI title game.

This preseason, Farrington took a 7-1 record into the end of last week. Highlights to date include wins over Iolani 66-57 Dec. 11 and Punahou 61-53 Dec. 6. The Governors’ only loss to date came to the same Punahou team 68-50 Dec. 13.

“Halfway through preseason, we’re at a pretty good point,” he said. “We’re making some good progress. Defense will be our key. Offense wins games, but defense wins championships. That cliché is very real, even in basketball today.”

In addition to the Pete Smith Classic, Farrington also will take part in the Punahou Tournament over the Christmas holidays, their fourth preseason tourney of 2014.

“We’ll play 17 preseason games all together. We used to play five tournaments, but that is too much. We need practice time with this team.”

Farrington plays its first two OIA East games against Windward schools: a road game at Kahuku Jan. 3 and home game against Kailua Jan. 7. Farrington also hosts Kalaheo Jan. 21 and Castle Feb. 4 in much-anticipated games.