Basketball: Underdone Tall Ferns finally on board for Asia Cup in Jordan

  • 14/09/2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has meant the Tall Ferns have been unable to play international basketball for almost two years. 

However, that is all about to change.

On Tuesday, the side boarded a flight to Jordan to compete in the Asia Cup.

With MIQ spots going like gold dust and international flights being cancelled at short notice getting there has been a logistical nightmare.

There's been a lot of baggage for the Tall Ferns to board this flight.

"It kind of just felt like it was never going to happen," says forward Tessa Boagni.

That's because of the challenge of getting spots in MIQ to return home.

Everytime we secured a spot, we celebrated as if we'd just won the World Cup," says Basketball New Zealand's Leonard King.

And there have been other complications, for Australian-based squad members, including their coach.

"Just last week we had some flight's cancelled at the last moment," says Guy Molloy.

That's something the man in charge of getting the team to the Asia Cup has had to get used to. 

"We had 14 different scenarios planned for the trip to Jordan and compete in the Asia Cup," says King.

"At the moment we're at number 12."

There are also challenges on the court. 

When they arrive together for the first time in Jordan, they'll have just over a week to prepare for the tournament.

"We haven't been together as a team at all since the 2019 Olympic qualifying," Boagni says.

New Zealand's first match is against Korea on September 27.

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