The on-court action really heats up today in the HoopNation basketball tournament at Springvale Stadium in Wanganui with the semifinals of the premier grades featuring some of the legends of the sport.

While the make-up of the semifinals was to be confirmed from results of games played last night - well after the Chronicle's deadline, the No1 ranked team, Rack City from Hawkes Bay was favoured to be in the frame today.

Rack City was brought to the tournament by former New Zealand and Breakers star Paul Henare and includes Tall Blacks legend Phill Jones, as well as Paora Winitana and the Hawks' 2m-tall US import Kareem Johnston.

Tip off for the first semifinal is set for noon, while the women's A-grade grand final is timed to tip off at 1pm. The men's A-grade final is 2pm and then at 3pm, the grand final of the premier men.


A major attraction for the players at the tournament is the cash prizes for winners and the current prize pool stands at $5500, while teams competing this year will receive a free playing kit courtesy of a Singapore apparel manufacturer. It also supplied uniforms for every team competing in last year's inaugural tournament. At the end of pool play yesterday OBC from Wanganui was ranked top of the Eastern Conference pool followed by Five Star (Wellington), Trentham (Wellington) and Hang Up Warriors (New Plymouth).

In the Western Conference Horzelys (Auckland) topped the pool with Mickey's (Wanganui) ranked second followed by The Heat (Wellington) and Naki Money (New Plymouth).