The Solomon Islands Basketball Federation (SIBF) has been placed under an interim committee upon request by the Federation International Basketball Association (FIBA) Oceania.

The SIBF Executive as of November 11, was put under administration suspension after FIBA Oceania requested the former SIBF board executives to step aside and let an interim committee take over or else face suspension and grants.

This meant the former President Mr Brian Pongatapu SIBF Executive is now suspended and will no longer be responsible in dealing with basketball related matters in the country.

A statement from FIBA Oceania President Mr Burton Shipley yesterday acknowledged the former SIBF executive for their contribution to the sport saying FIBA Oceania is ready and willing to help the interim committee in growing basketball here.

“I would like to welcome the new members of the SIBF board, the future is looking bright for the Federation and wish the board the very best for their future endeavors,” the statement said.

“Former SIBF President, Brian Pongatapu has made a sizeable contribution to basketball in the Solomon Islands. However, business interests and family commitments can make it difficult to stay involved.

“FIBA in Oceania Board members Scott Derwin who served as the Basketball Australia CEO for more than 10 years and Karo Lelai who is a senior partner for a Papua New Guinea law firm and IOC Athlete Commission member joins FIBA in Oceania/Singapore Executive Director David Crocker as part of working party liaising with the SIBF in developing the foundation and systems for the Federation moving forward.

“FIBA stands ready to support the SIBF’s new direction and board members. This working party is an example of the commitment that FIBA and the SIBF have to developing basketball in the Solomon Islands,” said Mr. Shipley

Meanwhile, former basketball player now Member of Parliament for West Are’are, Honorable John Maneiru on behalf of the Interim Committee acknowledged the former SIBF executives for their contribution to the sport and calls on everyone to work together to get SIBF back on the right track.

“On behalf of the appointed new interim board for Solomon Islands Basketball, we acknowledge the commitment from FIBA Oceania, particularly from the President and the Board, in allowing Solomon Islands the opportunity to work towards re-solving all its outstanding matters and issues, to help get Solomon Islands basketball back on track,” Hon. Maneiru said.

“We look forward to the challenge ahead and stand committed in working with FIBA Oceania, the National Olympic Committee of Solomon Islands, the National Sports Council, all sporting bodies/authorities, key stakeholders and supporters, the local business sector, NGO’s and the Solomon Islands Government to help re-align Solomon Islands Basketball.

“The overall aim is to set the foundations that will help elevate the sport to a higher-level of organizational strength, improve governance and accountability systems, and strengthen operational and administrative capacity, that will help the federation to operate successfully to meet the objectives developing, growing and promoting the sport of basketball in Solomon Islands,” he said.

By Martin Taromane, Island Sun, Sports


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