Basketball: Big Bay presence at Easter Tournament

By Ben Guild

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Tauranga City Basketball has entered its largest number of teams into this weekend's Basketball Pacific Easter Tournament. Photo/File
Tauranga City Basketball has entered its largest number of teams into this weekend's Basketball Pacific Easter Tournament. Photo/File

Basketball courts dotted across Tauranga and Mount Maunganui are set to host the country's largest representative tournament for the first time over Easter weekend.

The Basketball Pacific Easter Tournament, which has been running for 21 years, will see more than 1500 participants battle it out across 12 courts in four locations over four days beginning Friday.

Tauranga City Basketball general manager Mark Rogers said the city's 12 teams, spanning under-12s to under-21s and consisting of players spread between Waihi and Maketu, represents the largest contingent sent to the tournament by the association.

The action will be split between ASB Arena, QEII, Aquinas College and Merivale School, with Rogers confirming the availability of the nine courts at ASB Arena over the four days played a large role in the city being chosen to host the event during the bidding process.

The total of 108 teams includes five teams from Australia, with the rest consisting of teams from the area spanning Whangarei to New Plymouth.

Rogers said the weekend is being seen as an ideal opportunity to develop every part of a basketball association.

Two of the six FIBA referee educators will be on hand to work with officials, with the tournament also to feature coaching clinics and elite training opportunities.

Rogers said just one visiting association had expressed difficulty in finding suitable accommodation due to a clash with the National Jazz Festival.

- BAY OF PLENTY TIMES

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