Pride on the line in In­dige­nous bas­ket­ball

Kapi-Mana News - - SPORT - By KRIS DANDO

Se­ri­ous bas­ket­ball fans should def­i­nitely make time to be at Porirua’s Te Rau­paraha Arena on Satur­day night for a huge trans-Tas­man clash.

The in­au­gu­ral New Zealand Maori v Aus­tralian In­dige­nous bas­ket­ball se­ries starts on Fri­day with a match in Otaki. The sec­ond game is at the Arena at 7.30pm on Satur­day.

New Zealand Maori coach Jeff Green said that with at least four Aus­tralian Na­tional Bas­ket­ball League play­ers in the op­po­si­tion, what started as a friendly match when or­gan­ised last year had got much more se­ri­ous.

‘‘ The Aus­tralians

are com­ing with a team to com­pete and you’ll see a game of two con­trast­ing styles.

‘‘ They will look to take ad­van­tage of their bulk and slow the game down, but we’ll speed it up as much as pos­si­ble,’’ he said.

‘‘I’m look­ing for­ward to it – it will be a big game.’’

Green said hav­ing the ex­pe­ri­ence of Lind­say Tait and Porirua lo­cals Brook Rus­coe and Jor­dan Ngatai would be a boon for his team, es­pe­cially in front of a home crowd.

He said the con­cept of an an­nual se­ries be­tween the coun­tries’ two in­dige­nous teams was fan­tas­tic and he hoped it would be­come a reg­u­lar fix­ture.

Wil­lie Tau­rima, Porirua City Coun­cil’s man­ager of recre­ation, said the re­sponse from Bas­ket­ball Aus­tralia to the in­dige­nous se­ries was very pos­i­tive. The qual­ity of play­ers on show and the cheap ticket prices should en­sure a good spec­ta­tor turnout.

‘‘ The ri­valry talk has al­ready started and our guys will not want to lose,’’ he said.

Next year, the se­ries will be ex­tended to in­clude a women’s match as well, Tau­rima said.

It is only door sales in Otaki, but tick­ets for the Porirua game can be bought ei­ther through tick­et­di­rect. co.nz or at the door.

Adults cost $5, chil­dren a gold coin, or $ 10 for two adults and three chil­dren.

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