‘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.