THE Australian Boomers will return to Melbourne for the next round of FIBA World Cup qualifiers at Margaret Court Arena in February 2018.
Fresh from a series of impressive victories in the first round of qualifiers, the Boomers will square off against the Philippines on 22 February, followed by Chinese Taipei on 25 February.
Tickets for both games will be available through www.ticketek.com.au from Thursday 14th December 11am.
The Boomers put on a masterclass in Taiwan and Adelaide, winning their opening round games against Chinese Taipei and Japan by a combined margin of 63 points.
The Philippines were equally impressive, recording back-to-back victories to join Australia on top of Pool B and set the scene for a mouth-watering clash on 22 February.
A victory for either team will all but ensure progression to the second round of the qualifiers set for September 2018, November 2018 and February 2019.
Australia will also face off against Chinese Taipei in their second of two meetings, keen to show off with another impressive performance in front of a home crowd.
“The first round of qualifiers showed just how tough the quality of competition is in this Asia region – we had to battle our way through both games against two very good teams. We know the difference a home crowd makes and I’m looking forward to playing in front of our fans in Melbourne’s Margaret Court Arena,” said Boomers coach Andrej Lemanis.
“Competing in meaningful games on home soil is such a special experience for our team. It was a wonderful experience seeing the reaction from our guys as we prepared to play in Adelaide during round one – the pride and sense of responsibility in each and every member of the team was amazing to witness. For those that were fortunate enough to be at the game live, I’m sure they would attest to the fact that feeling came through in the way the team played – they played hard, they played for each other and they played for the love of the country – a pretty special experience for all.”
“These two Melbourne games are key in terms of not only advancing to the next round, but also positioning ourselves favourably in the next round. I ask the Melbourne fans, who have always been great basketball fans, to come and help us on the journey, and in the process, get to experience the true feeling and meaning of international basketball – it doesn’t get much better than this”
Victorian Minister for Tourism & Major Events, John Eren, hailed today’s announcement as a huge win for sports fans in the state, adding to an already impressive portfolio of major events Victoria has secured for 2018.
“We’re working hard to host the games that matter most – and that’s exactly what we’re doing” Mr Eren said.
“Victoria is the nation’s sporting capital so it makes sense that our Boomers will play two of FIBA World Cup Qualifiers here in February”
Tickets for this crucial series of World Cup qualifiers are available through www.ticketek.com.au from 11am AEDT on Thursday 14th December