In­ter­na­tional team vis­its

Waipa Post - - Pirongia Craft Day -

Waipa¯ bas­ket­ball fans have a golden op­por­tu­nity to see an in­ter­na­tional bas­ket­ball game played out on their back doorstep.

Te Awa­mutu is host­ing game one of the Tri-Se­ries be­tween the New Zealand Maori and the Aus­tralian Indige­nous men’s bas­ket­ball teams on Thurs­day.

Coach of the New Zealand Ma¯ori Men, Jeff Green, is pre­par­ing his team for an­other com­pet­i­tive se­ries.

“It’s game one and we’re look­ing for­ward to the se­ries. It’s been so com­pet­i­tive against the Aussies for the last five years,” he said.

“We need to come and get a win in game one so there’s not as much pres­sure on us go­ing into games two and three.”

Green said it’s al­ways great play­ing in Te Awa­mutu as the lo­cals get in be­hind and sup­port them.

“We are re­ally look­ing for­ward to the games ahead. It is a great op­por­tu­nity for the peo­ple of Te Awa­mutu/Cam­bridge and sur­round­ing ar­eas to ex­pe­ri­ence in­ter­na­tional bas­ket­ball.”

The Aus­tralian Indige­nous team ar­rive in Te Awa­mutu on Tues­day night and will be stay­ing in the Rose­town un­til Fri­day morn­ing be­fore head­ing on to Tau­ranga for games two and three.

Aus­tralian Indige­nous spokesman Joel Kahlu said the team are look­ing for­ward to com­ing back to Te Awa­mutu.

“We are re­ally ex­cited to be re­turn­ing to Te Awa­mutu and play­ing the Ma¯ori na­tional side here once again.

“We re­ally en­joyed the ex­pe­ri­ence back in 2016. The crowd and venue were fan­tas­tic and the lo­cal bas­ket­ball as­so­ci­a­tion made us feel re­ally wel­come.”

Kahlu said the tourists have a few new faces in their group for this year’s tour, so the open­ing game in Te Awa­mutu is def­i­nitely go­ing to be a mem­o­rable ex­pe­ri­ence for them.

“Even though we’ve been for­tu­nate enough to win the last three trans-Tas­man cam­paigns, we al­ways come into the se­ries against New Zealand as the un­der­dogs. Once again, I think they’ll have more size and ta­lent then us on pa­per, but we’ll just have to find a way to stay com­pet­i­tive. Hope­fully, if we can get into our run­ning game on the back of good de­fence, it will open up the floor for our shoot­ers to get some good looks.”

Kahlu said the se­ries is go­ing to be a lot of fun, es­pe­cially with how com­pet­i­tive both sides are.

“I think the peo­ple of Te Awa­mutu are go­ing to be in for a treat. Hope­fully there’s a big crowd in at­ten­dance for both teams to put on a bas­ket­ball show.”

So come on down to the Te Awa­mutu Events Cen­tre on Thurs­day, Septem­ber 27 for a 7pm tip off. Tick­ets from Event Finda or at the door.

Photo / Sup­plied

Aus­tralian Indige­nous bas­ket­baller Deba Ge­orge is to front against New Zealand Ma¯ ori at ASB Sta­dium, Te Awa­mutu Events Cen­tre, on Thurs­day night.

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