SunLive Competition

Sports fans are in for a treat this month when the National Basketball League’s Final Four comes to town.

Consisting of the semi-finals and finals of the NBL, the weekend promises to show off the talent of the country’s best basketballers.

It’s the first time the event has been held in Tauranga and NBL administrator Fran Scholey says it will be a great opportunity for locals to catch some live sporting action.

“Tauranga is one of the fastest-growing regions for basketball, so we want to reward the city by showcasing the top level of New Zealand basketball. ASB Arena has held successful basketball tournaments of high calibre in previous years, so therefore it makes sense for the NBL to come here.

“Everyone will be watching closely to see if Tauranga will support this event. A big turnout will indicate a franchise team is possible from this region.”

The four teams coming to play for the season’s top spot are the Wellington Saints, Southland Sharks, Supercity Rangers and Canterbury Rams.

Tauranga City Basketball Association general manager Mark Rogers expects a good crowd, with basketball the fastest-growing secondary school sport in New Zealand.

“Last year 1354 students played basketball regularly in the Bay of Plenty. Nationally, it’s the fourth most popular sport in high schools.”

He says previous big basketball events in Tauranga, such as Tall Blacks games, have been well-supported by the community.

“We want the crowds to experience it, so we’ve priced it to make sure it’s affordable for everybody.”

Tickets to the NBL Final Four are now on sale at Ticketek, with two-day passes available for just $35. TECT customers will also get a 50 per cent discount if they show their card at Baycourt.

The Final Four will be hosted at ASB Arena in Tauranga. The semi-finals will be on Friday, June 16 from 5pm, and the final will be on Saturday, June 17 at 5pm.

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The Weekend Sun has one double pass to both days of the NBL Final Four for one lucky reader who can tell us the name of Wellington’s basketball team.

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