Apunipima All Stars finalise preparations for Tran-Tasman series

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The Apunipima Australian Indigenous All Stars Basketball Team headed to Brisbane this weekend for a two-day training camp before they depart for New Zealand to defend their title as champions in the third installment of the annual Trans-Tasman Series in New Zealand.

The team spent Saturday and Sunday at the Hibiscus Sporting Complex, finalising their preparations for what is shaping to be an outstanding three-games against the Maori National Team.

The Apunipima All Stars, made up of Australia’s premier Indigenous basketball talent, are reigning Trans-Tasman champions after defeating the Maori team 2-1 in the best-of-three series held in Mackay, Queensland last year.

New Zealand took out the inaugural 2014 series in Wellington.

This year’s team is led by NBL Veteran Tyson Demos and features a line-up of players from all over the country.

Joel Khalu, head coach of the All Stars said the camp was the perfect preparation to get the team ready before their first game in New Zealand on Thursday, September 15.

“Because our players are based all over the country, it’s always a challenge logistically when it comes to organising training camps,” Khalu said.

“Our preparation for this year’s Trans-Tasman series has been limited, but that’s no different to both 2014 and 2015.

“In both of those campaigns we held training camps directly before the series got under way and on both instances we had some success. In familiar fashion, we just crammed in as much time on-court in Brisbane as possible,” Khalu added.

Apunipima spokesperson Dr. Mark Wenitong, who joined the team at the camp this weekend said, “We are really excited to be supporting the All Stars this year. They are a fantastic role models for our young fellas in the Cape York.

“They show just what can be achieved when you work hard, eat right and stay active.”

2016 Trans-Tasman Basketball Series

Apunipima Australian Indigenous All Stars vs. New Zealand Maori National Team

  • Game 1:         Thursday September 15, Te Awamutu, NZ
  • Game 2:         Friday September 16, Gisborne, NZ
  • Game 3:         Saturday September 17, Tauranga, NZ