Sharks position draws a crowd

PETE MCNAE
Last updated 13:00 02/08/2012

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Nelson Giants coach Chris Tupu is understood to be among 40 applicants for the Southland Sharks vacancy in the national basketball league.

Current coach Richard Dickel was told he could reapply for his job after the position was advertised, following a season in which the Sharks promised plenty but failed to make the playoffs.

Tupu, who is off contract in December, might well be in a similar position with the Fico Finance Giants, who have been conducting a season review after posting their worst record in the Bartercard NBL since the 1980s.

Tupu refused to comment when approached by Fairfax Media yesterday, but it is believed his name is in the hat in Southland, alongside the likes of Hawke's Bay coach Paul Henare and Wellington's Pero Cameron.

With the Gold Coast Blaze being excluded from this summer's Australian national league, Cameron lost the assistant coaching post he had there, while Henare is believed to be waiting and watching as the Bay Hawks undergo an ownership change.

Henare is off contract with the Hawks, and said he was uncertain where his future lay with the Napier-based side.

He said the Sharks was a franchise on the rise, and conceded that the job held appeal.

"I need a job and am looking at what openings are around. There's a lot of water to go under the bridge."

Henare has steered the Hawks to back-to-back playoff appearances since taking up NBL coaching last year.

Should Tupu's five-season tenure be drawing to an end in Nelson, Henare and Cameron would be considered here, although the feeling around the NBL is that both will probably remain with their current clubs.

Meanwhile, the Manawatu Jets franchise has paid the Giants a fee owed after the Jets failed to make it to Nelson for an NBL match in March.

The Jets were stranded at Paraparaumu airport when high winds meant they could not cross Cook Strait on the afternoon of Nelson's first home match of the past season.

The Giants incurred hefty costs in preparing for the match, with the NBL board supporting Nelson's claim and requiring the payment of a portion of those costs.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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