South East Melbourne Phoenix will travel to China later this month to play its first games ahead of its entry into the Hungry Jack’s NBL next season
Phoenix, which will make its debut in the NBL in the 2019-20 season, will face the Jiangsu Dragons in Nanjing on May 29 and the Shanghai Sharks in Shanghai on May 31.
The NBL has partnered with the Victorian Government for the games as the league continues its push into one of the world’s biggest markets.
NBL Chief Executive Jeremy Loeliger said: “The NBL has a growing presence in China, with club and the NBL All-Stars team tours in recent years, as well as NBL games broadcast live to China.
“This is an opportunity to continue to build those links and also provide our newest team South East Melbourne Phoenix a chance to promote their brand globally in a huge basketball market.”
Minister for Jobs, Trade, Innovation, Trade, Tourism, Sport and Major Events Martin Pakula said: “Victoria is the sporting capital of Australia and I’m thrilled that our state’s newest NBL team will be showcasing Victoria’s sporting capabilities to China.
“China’s major sporting events calendar which this year includes the FIBA Basketball World Cup, presents massive opportunities for Victorian companies engaged in sports and we look forward to watching these partnerships thrive.”
South East Melbourne Phoenix General Manager Tommy Greer said: “As a club, we would like to thank the NBL and the Victorian Government for the opportunity to play in China.
“It’s a great opportunity for us to play some games ahead of our first NBL game but also build our brand globally in a growing basketball market with strong ties to Victoria. The tour will also give us the opportunity to evaluate some young local talent.”
Phoenix, which has already announced a number of high-profile recruits including Mitch Creek and Tai Wesley, will announce its squad for the games shortly.
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