26 Sep 2006

Oceania Basketball Confederation wants play-off for Oceania berth at the Beijing Olympics

9:56 am on 26 September 2006

The secretary general of the Oceania Basketball Confederation says the New Zealand women's team will not be allowed to automatically go to the Beijing Olympics and will have to play-off with at least one Pacific Island nation.

Australia's success in winning the World Championships at the weekend means Oceania will have 2 spots at Beijing, but in recent years only the trans-tasman rivals have competed in regional events.

Steve Smith says the likes of Fiji, PNG and possibly Guam and the Samoan nations would be contenders.... and they'll have a better idea after next year's South Pacific Games....

"Basketball's a high profile event - and that competition always has been. We would look to have some sort of a qualification process in the months after the South Pacific Games. They are slated for late August and early September in Samoa. We would look to have the qualification process for the 2008 Olympics in late September, early October 2007. inviting the highest-ranked of the Pacific countries who qualify, to take part in that championship."