The Aon New Zealand Under 17 Boys basketball team are putting the final touches to their preparation for the FIBA Under 16* Asia Cup, to be help in Foshan China, 2 – 8 April.
The team have settled into one last preparation camp in Auckland this week before boarding a flight at 11pm on Wednesday night.
It’s is a big event for this team, who are seeking qualification to the FIBA Under 17 World Cup in Rosario and Santa Fe, Argentina, starting 30 June. The teams that finish in the top four of this Asia Cup will qualify.
New Zealand has been drawn in Pool A along with China and Hong Kong, with the top placed team advancing directly to the quarter-finals. If they place second in the Pool, New Zealand will face the third placed team from Pool B to battle for a spot in the last eight.
Pool B is made up of Australia, Philippines and Malaysia. Pool C comprises of Iran, Chinese Taipei and Macau with defending champions Korea, Japan, Lebanon and India in Pool D.
Considering this competition pools the best basketball nations in Asia, a top four finish is a big ask for the New Zealand team. China, Australia, Philippines, the Republic of Korea, Japan, Iran and Lebanon are all strong basketball nations. That said, this young team have had a strong preparation for this tournament, having toured the Philippines last year
New Zealand will open the tournament against Hong Kong at 3pm, 2 April (NZT). They then play China two days later at Wednesday, 4 April at 10pm (NZT).
FIBA will be livestreaming all of the games on their Twitter, Facebook and YouTube social media channels, as will Basketball New Zealand via @BasketballNZ Facebook. Be sure to tune into the @BasketballNZ page this evening at 6pm to watch the singlet presentation.
(*Clarification: Please note that New Zealand and FIBA’s terminology are different – FIBA Under 16’s means 16 years and younger, which is the equivalent of New Zealand’s Under 17’s.)
· The team roster: http://nz.basketball/News/aon-nz-u17-boys-named-as-fiba-draws-asia-cup
· See FIBA’s tournament website here: http://www.fiba.basketball/asia/u16/2017/news/draw-results-in-for-fiba-u16-asian-championship
· More basketball news at www.nz.basketball and Basketball New Zealand’s social media channels: @BasketballNZ Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.