Basketball players right on target
Porirua will always be underestimated at national age group basketball tournaments — and that’s not a bad thing.
That’s according to the latest batch of players to earn New Zealand colours, after an impressive under- 13 tournament last month.
Porirua’s under-13 girls’ team came a creditable fifth out of 20 teams, knocking over Wellington, Rotorua, Hibiscus Coast, Waitakere and Taranaki on the way.
Porirua were easily one of the best defensive teams, coach Brett Jarman said, and captain Harmony Hunter was chosen for the tournament team.
Hunter and team-mate Tyla Ward-Napier were selected for the national under-14 team and Rodah Rameka was named as a reserve. All three girls are only 12.
Jarman said Tesara- Rose Faleafaga, Porirua’s leading defender, was unlucky to be omitted.
Rameka said the nationals were a great bonding experience for the team and they would have liked to have finished higher than fifth.
‘‘It was good and a lot of teams didn’t expect us to do so well,’’ she said.
‘‘Porirua’s a small place and they underestimate us.’’
Rameka, Hunter and WardNapier said support from family and sponsors was crucial to get to places like Dunedin and to Australia in January with the New Zealand under-14s.
The Australian trip will cost $3800 for each girl. Sponsors and funders such as Mana Community Grants Foundation, North City Auto Ltd, Mitre 10 Mega, Coastal Fasteners and Tegel Foods had made much of the travel and accommodation possible, the girls said.