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Tonga set to return for the Pacific Games after 20-year absence
Nuku'alofa (Tonga) - The Tonga National Basketball Association fulfilled the stipulations set by FIBA to officially join the upcoming Pacific Games on July 7 to 20 in Apia, Samoa
Tonga initially qualified to the Pacific Games with a bronze medal finish in the 2018 FIBA Polynesia Cup but was suspended by FIBA for failing to send their Women's team in the same tournament while pulling out their teams abruptly in the 2018 FIBA U15 Oceania Championship in Papua New Guinea.
The island country is set to return to the competition after a 20-year absence from the quadrennial event.
FIBA Oceania Executive Director David Crocker released a statement regarding Tonga's official inclusion to the event:
"FIBA Oceania is pleased that Tonga took the action necessary for them to be able to participate in the Pacific Games. Tonga was a pleasant surprise in the Polynesia Cup and we look forward to them bringing a competitive team to the games."
Tonga will be joining FIBA Polynesia Cup champion Tahiti (French Polynesia), Melanesia Cup champion Papua New Guinea, New Caledonia, Fiji, Micronesian Games gold medalist Guam, Wildcard qualifier the Solomon Islands and host Samoa to complete the cast.
Pacific Games Council led by CEO Andrew Minogue also expressed their delight in TNBA's efforts to secure their seat in the tournament.
"The Pacific Games Council is delighted to have Tonga qualified for the games and we look forward to them bringing a strong team to Samoa," he said.
The Pacific Games is the official qualifiers to the 2025 FIBA Asia Cup.