Basketball teams jet off - Solomon Star News

Basketball teams jet off

26 September 2017
Basketball women's and men's teams prior to their depature on Monday. [Photo: Uriel Matanani]

THE country’s women's and men's basketball teams jetted out of the country on Monday morning for Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea (PNG).

Both teams will participate in the 2017 FIBA Melanesia Basketball Cup in Port Moresby which will kick off today till next Sunday.

The 2017 FIBA Melanesia Basketball Cup is an international basketball contested by nations of the newly formed Melanesia FIBA Oceania sub-zone.

Papua New Guinea is the host for the inaugural edition of the tournament.

The country’s participation at the event is vital because it serves as qualifiers for the basketball event of the 2019 Pacific Games in Samoa with three berths for Melanesia allocated for the top three teams in this tournament.

Additionally the top two teams will qualify for the 2025 FIBA Asia Cup pre-qualification tournament in 2023.

PNG, Fiji, and New Caledonia minus Vanuatu are also sending a team each for the championship play-offs.

The Taurama Aquatic and Indoor Centre in Port Moresby will be the main venue for the event.

Prior to the team’s departure Bank South Pacific (BSP) Solomon Islands has donated sets of drinking water bottles with bags to support the teams.

A statement on behalf of Solomon Islands Basketball Federation (SIBF) issued by Uriel Matanani encouraged the teams to do their best in the competition.

“After all that's been said and done these past few months, the ball is now in your with heart and with pride wearing the green, yellow and blue colours...all the best to all our players as they seek qualification for 2019.”

A good number of supporters, family members, officials and friends turned up at the Honiara international airport to witness the teams’ departure.

The vice president of SIBF Delma Nori over the weekend acknowledged the Solomon Islands Government through the Ministry of Finance and Treasury, the National Olympic Committee of Solomon Islands (NOCSI), and other sponsors for making their trip to PNG possible.