Basketball fans, this massive coup is one for you!
Melbourne will soon welcome back the Australian Boomers for their first games on home soil since making history at the Tokyo Olympics by claiming their first-ever medal.
Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Martin Pakula today announced Melbourne has won the right to host the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) World Cup Asian Qualifiers at John Cain Arena from 30 June to 4 July.
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Led by Patty Mills, the Australian Boomers defeated Slovenia by a final score of 107-93 to capture bronze at the Tokyo Olympics and win the program’s first-ever medal.
Now this series gives fans a chance to see the Boomers in action as they fight to secure their place in the 2023 FIBA World Cup.
The series features the men’s national teams of Australia, China, Japan, and Chinese Taipei competing over six games, including two double-headers, at John Cain Arena. It is expected that up to 36,500 people will attend the series over four days.
The Boomers will take on China on 30 June, then Japan on 1 July, followed by another game against China on 3 July.
With this June schedule, it means there is potential for Australian players currently overseas to return home to play in the series in front of a home crowd which will be a big win for the serious basketball fans among us.
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The international broadcast will reach more than 150 million households, putting Melbourne on the world stage.
“Melbourne is Australia’s sporting capital and hosting an official FIBA qualifying event is another demonstration that Victoria is the place to be for international sports events,” says Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Martin Pakula.
“This is a big win for basketball fans around the country and this event will attract interstate-based fans to Melbourne this June.”
Victoria is the home of Australian basketball with more than 340,000 Victorians regularly playing the sport, more than a third of the national total.
The FIBA Asian Qualifying Series complements the Andrews Labor Government’s $105 million contributions to the $132 million upgrade of the State Basketball Centre in Wantirna South, which will create one of Australia’s leading basketball facilities and support the continued growth of basketball and gymnastics at local and elite levels.
Tickets are on sale through Ticketek. All games will be broadcast live on ESPN. Read the announcement here.