Hundreds of tamariki and rangatahi turned out to the trials for six grades on the 14th October at ASB Arena. Eleven teams have been selected to go to the Māori Nationals held in Rotorua in January 2019.

‘This is our first time moving to a trial format’ says Chairman Antoine Coffin. ‘It’s a symptom of the success of the Māori National Tournament. The 2018 tournament had 198 teams, and the 2019 Nationals may have as many as 210 teams. As a result of the high attendance, only one club team in each grade can attend. We have enough players in the under 11 and under 13 grades to make 3 teams, so its tough having many of our players know that they won’t make a team. It also means we need to find and create new opportunities for our Māori to play. Our new pākura tournament in January 2019 will be a start in this direction’.

The Māori National Basketball Tournament will be run from the 23rd to the 26th January 2019. Te Maru o Mauao will be staying at Tangatarua Marae, sponsored by Toi Oho Mai.