Basketball eyes Asia qualifiers

BASKETBALL Fiji has earned spots in the Asia Pacific World Cup qualifiers scheduled for 2017 after a successful outing at the Pacific Games.

The silver medal placing by the men’s and gold medal feat by the women’s has ensured that both teams qualify for the scheduled tourney.

Basketball Fiji development officer Laisiasa Puamau said they fared much better then their last Pacific Games performance in New Caledonia.

“The men finished in fourth place in New Caledonia and the women won bronze so this is an improvement,” he said.

With the national teams to compete against Asian giants Korea and China at the qualifiers, Puamau said, plans had been set in motion by the federation to set up matches prior to the tournament proper.

“Our president has held talks with the two federations and hopefully a memorandum of understanding can be signed up soon before we can have competitions,” he said.

He added that with a time span of close to two years remaining, preparation has been ongoing in their bid to book a potential spot in the World Cup in 2019.

“We have started our preparation ever since U19 FIBA world qualifiers and we have been able to leverage off that. Other than that we will look ahead at having ongoing competitions,” he said.

The seven best teams from the Asia Pacific qualifiers will advance to the 2019 World Cup.