In what will be their first appearance on home soil since their history making Tokyo Olympics bronze medal win, the Australian Boomers are set to headline John Cain Arena, as Melbourne locks in to host the FIBA 2023 World Cup Qualifiers.
From June 30 to July 4, Australia, Japan, China and Chinese Taipei will compete over six games including two doubleheaders, in what will be the third qualifying window. It’s anticipated that up to 36,500 fans 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.
The June schedule means there is potential for Australian players currently overseas, to return home to play in the series in front of a home crowd. Boomers’ Head Coach Brian Goorjian has committed to the games and is keen to enlist as many members as possible from his Tokyo 2020 bronze medal-winning team.
The international broadcast will reach more than 150 million households, putting Melbourne on the world stage.
The FIBA Asian Qualifying Series complements the Victorian Government’s $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.
Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Martin Pakula is excited for international basketball to return to Victoria.
“Hosting an official FIBA qualifying event reinforces Victoria’s standing as a major events city and Australia’s sporting capital,” Pakula said.
“Basketball fans around the country will find this multi-day basketball fixture hugely appealing and it gives added incentive for interstate-based fans to head to Melbourne this June.”
Boomers’ coach, Brian Goorjian is keen to reunite with the national team for the first time since the bronze medal win in Tokyo.
“I’m very excited to be coaching the Boomers as we return to Melbourne to play on home soil. These games are important for us to qualify for the FIBA World Cup next year,” Goorj said.
“We expect China and Japan to be tough competitors, so the fans are in for some great games. John Cain Arena is a terrific stadium for basketball and we look forward to the fans coming out in their green and gold to support our team.”