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Indigenous All Stars off to Canada


AUSTRALIA's Apunipima Indigenous All Stars are en route to Vancouver, Canada to contest the World Indigenous Basketball Challenge for their first time.

The WIBC features 16 indigenous teams representing their nations from Wednesday to Saturday at the University of British Columbia Stadium, battling for the world title.

Australia’s finest Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander basketball talent will be on show, looking to build on its already successful Trans-Tasman series against New Zealand's Maori All Stars.

The All Stars concluded preparations with a two-day training camp in Brisbane and will play a tournament lead-up game against the Zambian national team tomorrow afternoon.

They open their official campaign on Wednesday against Team Vancouver in a cut-throat encounter. Victory means progressing into the winners' bracket for a shot at the title.

The alternative is a drop to the losers' bracket.

“Training camp was fantastic and we achieved the expectations and goals we had going in,” All Stars coach Joel Khalu said.

“It’s always a challenge when you have to try and squeeze in a lot of information to players in a short period of time, but I was happy with the outcomes we reached relating to our style of play and offensive and defensive philosophies.

“This scenario is nothing new for this group, as this is typically the same process we undertake when planning for the annual Trans-Tasman series against the New Zealand Maori National Team.

“The good thing is we have a pre-tournament game in Vancouver against Zambia so that
will help the guys get a bit more familiar with each other and also help alleviate jetlag after travelling such a long way.

“It’s going to be a massive challenge for us to go there and win the entire thing, but I believe if we are able to play our natural free-flowing style and do a great job defensively in each matchup, we should put ourselves in a pretty good position to have some success.”

Aug 7

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