Boomers to return to Brisbane, as Hong Kong trip remains unclear


Questions remain about where the Boomers will play the second of their two February games as they are scheduled to face Hong Kong in Hong Kong.

Sporting bodies from around the world are cancelling or moving events due to the ongoing protests, which have interrupted roads, rail as scores of residents take to the streets.

BA and FIBA have yet to make any comment on what they plan to do but considering the Hong Kong Rugby Tens tournament, scheduled for April 1-2, was recently cancelled, there is a growing likelihood the game is moved.

The Boomers won the Asia Cup in 2017 and will face some tough competition in qualifying as New Zealand always play them well, while Guam, who could feature South East Melbourne Phoenix import Tai Wesley, have a skilled side due to their status as an American territory.

BA chief executive Jerril Rechter said the Boomers would find a strong following in Brisbane.

“This game in Brisbane is a great opportunity for Queenslanders to support arguably Australia’s leading national team in an important Asia Cup qualifier against our traditional rival, New Zealand,” Rechter said.

BA high performance manager Jan Stirling said Brown would oversee the preparations from the US and his coaching staff would be announced in the “coming period”.

The team will likely be made up of NBL players as the Boomers did with great success during FIBA World Cup qualifying.

The Boomers won the FIBA Asian Cup.Credit:FIBA.com

“Not only is a positive result against New Zealand important for 2021 Asian Cup qualification but it also serves as vital preparation for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics,” Stirling said.

“The success of the Australian Boomers over recent years has been due to the strength in depth of the squad and following standout performances both domestically and abroad. There are many players vying for national team selection for the February qualification window.”

The qualifying window falls before the NBL semi-finals. In past years, the team has mostly included players from teams outside the finals race but with this being the first window of qualifying it’s likely both Australia and New Zealand will call up their best players regardless of the NBL finals.

The Boomers versus Tall Blacks game will be at Nissan Arena on February 20 with the start time still to be finalised.

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