The New Zealand men’s basketball team have withdrawn from Olympic qualifiers in Serbia due to costs associated with COVID-19 protocols and international travel, the country’s governing body (BBNZ) said on Friday.
New Zealand have also pulled out of the FIBA 3×3 Olympic qualifying event in Austria.
BBNZ said it had agreed to prioritise “events that qualify into long-term cycles” after consulting with senior players and the players’ association.
The governing body will instead invest in “must-play” competitions, including the FIBA Asia Cup cycles for the men’s and women’s teams which determine qualification for the respective World Cups cycles.
“The board spent considerable time weighing up the future of our international teams,” BBNZ Chief Executive Iain Potter said in a statement.
“They have accepted a level of measured risk, with a deficit forecast for this year that we are backing ourselves to cover through sponsorship and additional funding.