New Zealand Select were hosted by Tall Blacks sponsor MBO (pronounced Maybo) while on tour in China yesterday, and given an escorted tour of the Shunde factory that produces 5000 air conditioning units per day.
Hosted by MBO, New Zealand Select were treated like sporting royalty, with the red carpet literally laid out, staff and management welcomed the team with applause, and the team was treated to a taste of local culture and dance before moving inside to meet more of the staff and their families.
Coach Paul Henare was honoured by the reception.
“What an amazing and a great experience for the boys. For some of us who have been to China a few times before, we know how this country views the Tall Blacks and New Zealanders, they love us, they love what we represent and how we play our basketball. To be able to share some time with MBO who are such a big part of the Tall Blacks and to visit a factory, meet the employees and make the partnership ‘real’ in the sense of human connections, it was very special and humbling for us all.”
The team continues their tour of China with a game against Cameroon tonight in Shunde, with a few hundred MBO staff attending the game, before both teams move to Hangchen for the Four Nation Tournament, where they are joined by Montenegro and a regional Chinese team in a round robin format.