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