New Zealand Tall Blacks pull out of Olympic qualifiers | Inquirer Sports
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New Zealand Tall Blacks pull out of Olympic qualifiers

/ 04:38 PM February 26, 2021
new zealand tall blacks

Gilas Pilipinas vs New Zealand in a FIBA OQT match at Mall of Asia Arena. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.net

The New Zealand men’s basketball team has withdrawn from Olympic qualifiers in Serbia due to costs associated with COVID-19 protocols and international travel, the country’s governing body (BBNZ) said on Friday.

New Zealand has also pulled out of the FIBA 3×3 Olympic qualifying event in Austria.

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BBNZ said it had agreed to prioritize “events that qualify into long-term cycles” after consulting with senior players and the players’ association.

The governing body will instead invest in “must-play” competitions, including the FIBA Asia Cup cycles for the men’s and women’s teams which determine qualification for the respective World Cups cycles.

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“The board spent considerable time weighing up the future of our international teams,” BBNZ Chief Executive Iain Potter said in a statement.

“They have accepted a level of measured risk, with a deficit forecast for this year that we are backing ourselves to cover through sponsorship and additional funding.

“But even with the additional commitment, the program would require another three-quarters of a million dollars to ensure we could participate in all scheduled 2021 events.”

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TAGS: FIBA, New Zealand Tall Blacks, tokyo 2020, Tokyo Olympics
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