Huge numbers for Fiji's Secondary Schools Championships
Almost 600 players representing 56 teams from 15 schools will contest the annual Fiji Secondary Schools Championships this week.
Boys and girls schools from across the main island will converge on Vodaphone Arena in Suva for the week long competition from 27th-30th August. And amongst those schools are a number of traditional 'rugby schools'. Such inroads into the heart of rugby is a great leap forward for basketball in Fiji. NBDO Lai Puamau said the national championship would be a tough battle ground.
The Tuckers Ice Cream sponsored Championships will be played in 6 divisions - Under 15 boys and girls, under 17 boys and girls and under 19 boys and girls. Fiji's participation in women's basketball has always been strong, and this continues with 26 girls and 30 boys competing for the Championship trophies.
"We have more than 15 schools competing which means there will be a lot of games to play. We are excited about the competition, and excited for the schools that are joining the competition for the first time," NBDO Lai Puamau said.
Defending champions Marist Brothers' High School, Saint Joseph's Secondary School, Latter Day Saints and Yat Sen Secondary School are the favourite teams in the competition.
The Fiji under-19 National Coaches are hoping to see new talent, and will recruit new players for their National squads. "The selection door will be open at this event. We want to recruit players that impress during the championship," said Puamau.
Fiji U19 boy's coach Saula Koroi will be looking at untapped talent from new schools Dilkusha High School, Queen Victoria School and Cathedral Secondary School.
"The number of players we pick will be determined by the number of players that play well.
So we are hoping to select the best players," Puamau said.