NZ Maori take on Pacific
NZ Maori men will tip off their FIBA Pacific Championship schedule with what promises to be a keenly contested encounter against Samoa on November 28 at Poririua.
The tournament, staged at Te Rauparaha Arena from 28 November – 4 December, will pit teams from New Zealand and Australia against the best players from around the Pacific.
This year, New Zealand will be represented by NZ Maori teams guided by four-time NBL champion coach Jeff Green (men) and former Junior Tall Blacks coach Deslea Wrathall (women).
The draw sees the local men pitted against Samoa, Fiji and New Caledonia in the early stages, while the women meet Tahiti, Samoa and Papua New Guinea.
“Not sure who the home crowd will be supporting,” quips stadium manager Willie Taurima. “Last time New Zealand and Samoa met at the Arena, it was for volley ball and the home crowd definitely favoured Samoa.”
The Maori women will take on PNG first up, while the Australia men and women meet PNG and Guam respectively.
Tickets are available from www.ticketdirect.co.nz or at Te Rauparaha Arena.
Ticket prices – under five free, children $5, adults $10 per day
Tournament passes (six days) – childen $20, adults – $40
The full pool schedule is:
Thursday, November 28
12.30pm Tahiti v Guam
2.30pm Australia v Papua New Guinea
6.30pm New Caledonia v Fiji
8.30pm NZ Maori v Samoa
12.30pm Fiji v New Caledonia
2.30pm Samoa v Tahiti
6.30pm NZ Maori v Papua New Guinea
8.30pm Australia v Guam
Friday, November 29
3pm Fiji v Samoa, Papua New Guinea v Tahiti
6pm NZ Maori v New Caledonia
8pm Guam v Australia
1pm Papua New Guinea v Samoa, New Caledonia v Australia
6pm Guam v Fiji
8pm NZ Maori v Tahiti
Saturday, November 30
3pm Papua New Guinea v Guam, New Caledonia v Samoa
6pm Australia v Tahiti
8pm NZ Maori v Fiji
1pm Papua New Guinea v Tahiti, Fiji v Australia
6pm NZ Maori v Samoa
8pm Guam v New Caledonia