Saturday, July 20, 2024

Australia’s basketball teams set for pre-Paris clashes

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The Australian Boomers and Opals will each play a pair of exhibition games against China in Melbourne – in preparation for the 2024 Paris Olympics – headlining an event that will also feature the country’s best basketball talent across other disciplines.

From July 2-5, the Boomers, Opals, 3×3 men’s and women’s teams, and both of Australia’s wheelchair basketball teams will take part in games at Melbourne’s John Cain Arena, in an initiative Basketball Australia and Visit Victoria are dubbing ‘Ford BALLIN’24’.

The Boomers will face China on July 2 and July 4, while the Opals will have a pair of games against China on July 3 and July 5.

With the Paris Olympics beginning at the end of July, the event gives both the Boomers and Opals important exhibition games heading into the major tournament. The Boomers are expected to feature a host of NBA talent for the warmup games, including the likes of Josh Giddey, Josh Green, and Jock Landale.

“Australia is a global powerhouse in basketball, to have all our national teams in Melbourne playing at the same venue is a win for fans,” Basketball Australia CEO, Matt Scriven, said.

“John Cain Arena is the perfect setting for world class basketball, this is an incredible send off for our teams as they head to Paris.”

The 3×3 ‘Gangurrus’, the reigning FIBA Asia Cup Champions, will also face China. Both Australian wheelchair basketball teams – the Rollers and Gliders – will go up against Japan, as part of their preparation for the 2024 Summer Paralympics, which begins at the end of August.

“Over the past few years, we’ve watched on proudly as Victorian basketball talent have been making an impact on the world stage, and these games will bring the thrill of international basketball to Melbourne and give Victorians the chance to cheer on their favourite hometown heroes,” Steve Dimopoulos, Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events, said.

“We look forward to welcoming big crowds to Melbourne, who will deliver another boost to our state’s thriving, $37.8 billion visitor economy.”

For the Boomers, the games will be the team’s first opportunity to hit the court following their official pre-Olympic training camp in early July. The team will then head to Abu Dhabi for a pair of exhibition games against Team USA and Serbia, before traveling to Europe to complete their pre-Olympics schedule.

The Boomers are coming off a 10th place finish at the 2023 FIBA World Cup, and secured an automatic qualification for the Olympics as the highest-finishing team from the Oceania region.

The Opals’ most recent appearance in a major international tournament was a third-place finish at the 2022 FIBA World Cup.

Ford BALLIN’24 Schedule (AEST)

Tuesday, July 2

Session 1 – Boomers Shootaround, 3×3, Gliders & Rollers

Event Start: 11am

Session 2 – Boomers vs China

Event Start – 7:30pm

Wednesday, July 3

Session 1 – Opals Shootaround, 3×3, Gliders

Event Start: 11am

Session 2 – Opals vs China

Event Start: 7:30pm

Thursday, July 4

Session 1 – Boomers Shootaround, 3×3, Coaches Clinic & Rollers

Event Start: 11am

Session 2 – Boomers vs China

Event Start: 7:30pm

Friday, July 5

Session 1 – Opals Shootaround, 3×3, Gliders & Rollers

Event Start: 11am

Session 2 – Opals vs China

Event Start: 7:30pm

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