7 Apr 2015

Tauranga and Wellington to host basketball internationals

9:27 am on 7 April 2015

Tauranga and Wellington have been chosen to host New Zealand Basketball Olympic qualifying games this year.

The Tall Blacks forward Isaac Fotu in action.

The Tall Blacks forward Isaac Fotu in action. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The return leg games against Australia in the Oceania Championship will be played here with Tauranga hosting he women's game on August 17th and Wellington the men's game on August 18th.

Basketball New Zealand CEO Iain Potter says in choosing the venues they've taken into account many variables, not the least of which is the ability to sell out a venue with passionate, basketball mad Kiwis who will do all they can to create a memorable atmosphere to give our teams the all-important edge in the deciding games.

The first games for both series will be played in Melbourne on August 15th, with Basketball New Zealand opting to give the Tall Ferns their own space away from the men on the return match.

Potter says they're serious about improving the profile and performances of their Tall Ferns team.

Potter says Wellington has a long history of supporting the sport and has no doubt that tickets to the TSB Arena will become a hot item for a game that will likely see a host of NBA players come to town.

The Australians will feel they have a point to prove after what was for them a disappointing World Championship last year and already many of their overseas and NBA stars are showing a strong willingness to be involved in this series, they are potentially the strongest Australian team we have ever seen play here.

Oceania Basketball Championships

Olympic Qualifying for Rio 2016

New Zealand Tall Ferns v Australia Opals

15 August, Melbourne (venue and time TBC)

17 August, ASB Arena, Tauranga (tip-off time and ticketing TBC) Curtain raiser; final of FIBA Oceania U17 Women's World Cup qualifying tournament.

New Zealand Tall Blacks v Australian Boomers

15 August, Melbourne (venue and time TBC)

18 August, TSB Arena, Wellington (tip-off time and ticketing TBC) Curtain raiser; final of FIBA Oceania U17 Men's World Cup qualifying tournament.

In both cases the runner-up in the Oceania Championships will have the right to attempt to qualify for Rio through FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournaments in 2016, the details of which are not yet available.