Top-level b-ball

Nail-biter: The Southern Hoiho's Tori Dugan in action against the Mid-North Whai at the Edgar Centre last Sunday. PICTURE WALTER SAVAGE

Fresh off their first win of the season last Sunday, the Southern Hoiho women’s basketball  team will play in Queenstown again this coming Monday.

The fifth round of the inaugural Tauihi Basketball Aotearoa will see the South Island go  head-to-head, with Hoiho, representing the lower South, going up against Mainland Pouakai (upper South), at the Queenstown Events Centre.

Central Otago/Whakatipu Basketball Association spokeswoman Jackie Kukutai says she’s
expecting another nail-biter on Monday between, essentially, ‘‘the old Otago vs Canterbury’’.

‘‘The [Hoiho] girls have struggled [but] all of their losses have been very, very narrow  losses, they haven’t had any blowouts.

‘‘The Pouakai have got a similar record to the Hoiho … it’s going to be an exciting contest.’’

The games are also serving as a proving ground for the Central Otago and Whakatipu  associations following news in February a Queenstown team’s to join the Sal’s National Basketball League in 2024.

While Kukutai’s not sure if the consortium behind the team, which includes former Tall  Black Chris Simpson and ASB Tennis Classic tournament director Karl Budge, will want to utilise the association when those games eventuate, but ‘‘we’re going to be prepared’’.

‘‘We’re taking care of business at a local level, regardless of whether they’re going to use us, [so] at least we know we can do it.’’

Entry to Monday night’s game costs $15 for adults, $5 for children, or $35 for a family pass (two adults, two children), with hot food also available.

The game’s also being broadcast live on Sky Sport.

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