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FIBA Melanesia Cup postponed to April 2022

GOLD COAST (Australia) - The FIBA Melanesia Cup 2021 set to be played in Fiji has been postponed due to the ongoing health pandemic, in an announcement by Basketball Fiji and FIBA.

The number one priority remains the health and safety of all players, coaches, and officials, and FIBA has agreed with Basketball Fiji to postpone the competition to April 2022.

"After further deliberation and discussion with Basketball Fiji, we have decided to postpone the FIBA Melanesia Cup to 2022, with health and safety being the top priority for the decision,” said David Crocker, FIBA Oceania’s Executive Director. “The postponement will also give involved countries ample time to prepare for the competition."

Basketball Fiji Chief Operating Officer Laisiasa Puamau confirmed that the federation has decided to tentatively push it back to the first quarter of next year due to pandemic-related reasons.

"We have unfortunately postponed the FIBA Melanesia Cup 2021 due to strict border control laws and quarantine protocols currently in place in Fiji amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic," said Puamau.

"We respect and understand the Ministry of Health guidelines for the benefit of every participating federation. Basketball Fiji has been hosts of FIBA competitions in the past so we're looking forward to welcoming our neighbors after these challenging times," he added.

The quadrennial event among Melanesian nations inaugurated in 2017 was originally due to tip-off at the newly renovated Vodafone Arena in Suva this May.

The FIBA Melanesia Cup is a sub-regional qualification phase for the Pacific Games, which serves as the official qualifier to the FIBA Asia Cup Pre-Qualifiers. The countries grouped in the region are Fiji, New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and Vanuatu.