2013 FIBA Oceania Pacific Basketball Championship kicks off

By Ripeka Timutimu

The 2013 FIBA Oceania Pacific Basketball Championship kicked off today, with teams from Australia, Fiji, Samoa, Papua New Guinea, Guam, Tahiti and New Caledonia all making appearances.

From her experience playing for the Tall Ferns, Aroha Haumaha knows the demands on players at the highest levels of the sport, and she's certain her team has got what it takes to come out on top.

“We've only had two or three practises together but despite that, we've managed to bond and become a family of sorts.”

In 2009, the team lost to Australia in the final of the competition, but with players like current Tall Fern, Samara Gallaher, they're looking to exact revenge.

The captain of the men's team, Puke Lenden, says although prep time has been limited under the sharp eye of coach, Jeff Green, they've bonded together with one goal in mind.

The men's team will play Samoa at 6:30pm tonight, followed by the women's team who'll be going up against Guam.

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