Kiribati here to play ball

This Kiribati basketball team arrived in Majuro on Nauru Airlines late last week to dive into the Constitution Day competition. They defeated two of the teams in the early going of the tournament. Kiribati Coach David Collins is at left. Photo: Hilary Hosia.

HILARY HOSIA

The last time David Collins and Hackney Wase met in the basketball arena was 37 years ago as competitors representing their island nations of Kiribati and Marshall Islands — at an Oceania Basketball Tournament in Fiji in 1986.

Fast forward to this week, the two reunited but as colleagues: David as coach for visiting team Kiribati and Hackney as sports coordinator under the Sports and Extracurricular Program in Majuro.

Kiribati’s David Collins and RMI’s Hackney Wase, both basketball stars in their playing days, reunited in Majuro this week 37 years after their last meeting on the basketball court in Fiji. Collins is coaching a Kiribati team in the Constitution Day basketball competition. Photo: Hilary Hosia.

Team Kiribati proved its worth by participating in the ongoing Constitution Day basketball games, toppling two teams so far, including the second best team in Majuro, Team Mili. Kiribati upended Mili with a 74-63 win at the Assumption Multipurpose Court.

The visiting team did quite well for an entrance by defeating Mejit in its first game with a huge gap of 79-49.

Pending scheduling from SEP, Kiribati might have a chance to face-off with the best team in Majuro, Team Lae. The other team that might face-off with Kiribati are the underdogs in the May Day games, Team Arno.

“Pretty hard to beat a team like Kiribati because all of the players are fast and strong, like every single one of them,” said a commentator from the official sports table.

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