Noumea (New Caledonia) - The FIBA U17 Oceania Championship in New Caledonia is off to a roaring start with host teams winning and quality of games organized in a world-class level during the two days of the competition held in a world-class facility, Arena De Sud.
The host nation's teams registered thrilling victories with the Men's teams comeback from behind 76-68 win and Women's 62-54 overtime win over the Cook Islands respective teams.
"We are happy with the results of our teams playing so far and we believe the passionate support of our home crowd has pushed our teams to exciting victories in their opening games. The preparation for this tournament has been a long process and to see success in the court is gratifying our New Caledonia Basketball," said Ligue Nouvelle Calédonie Basketball (LNCBB) President Thierry Durand.
Durand also mentioned the immediate economic impact and return of investment of the countries participating in the tournament.
"To have seven other countries fly here to our country is a huge boost to our economy with supporters, officials patronizing and enjoying the local products and services," Durand said. "The team effort of putting together an event of this magnitude in a Pacific nation will always have some challenges but we have put together a huge effort in making this a competition to remember. We hope all the countries are enjoying their stay and have good memories when they go back to their respective countries," he added.
To help provide an international standard playing venue for the competition, FIBA invested on a world-class flooring for Arena De Sud which was installed before the event.
FIBA Executive Director David Crocker is on hand for the FIBA U17 Oceania Championship and emphasized the positive economic impact of hosting a tournament in the Pacific nations.
"We know from previous economic impact studies of FIBA Oceania events we provide a useful boost to local economies. In PNG, Guam, and Fiji we have been able to contribute economic activity on average around 3mil USD. It will be no different this week in Noumea. Our social media reach showing New Caledonia and Arena DeSud is on target to have more than four million social media impressions and over 100,000 viewers of games on Livestream to a global audience," he said.
"The volunteers of the LNCBB are doing a lot of heavy lifting and the wider New Caledonia is benefiting. LNCBB could do with some more assistance to make sure they can deliver this international event to international standards," he concluded.
Picture by Alex Broadway/SWpix.com