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Boomers bonus for Bendigo

VICTORIA has secured all three Boomers’ home games in the second phase of FIBA qualifying for the 2019 World Cup in China, tipping off with Australia hosting Kazakhstan in Bendigo on September 17.

The Boomers will host Iran on November 30, and Qatar on December 3 at Melbourne’s Margaret Court Arena.

The 2018-19 NBL draw, released officially tomorrow, will include a window for the Melbourne matches, by which time United guard and Rio Olympian Chris Goulding will have served his one-match FIBA ban.

(Unless Basketball Australia appeals this absurd sanction in the interim.)

The Victorian Government, through its Visit Victoria, is partnering Basketball Australia and TEG Live to present all three of the Asian Qualifiers, with tickets going on sale Thursday through and starting at $30 for adults.

Bendigo Stadium now is the largest in regional Victoria and a state-of-the-art facility, with increased seating for 4,000.

“The game will be a landmark event for the city of Bendigo as we bring international basketball to their new stadium for the first time,” BA chief executive Anthony Moore said.

“Bendigo has a proud basketball history and we are sure fans from across regional Victoria will get behind our Boomers as they look to secure our spot in next year’s FIBA World Cup.”

The Boomers finished the first phase of qualifying with a 5-1 win-loss record which carries over into this new phase. The Aussies swept Chinese Taipei and the Philippines but split 1-1 with Japan.

Iran also enters this new “Pool F” with a 5-1 record, making the November 30 showdown in Melbourne potentially a decisive fixture.

Australia last year won the FIBA Asia Cup at its first attempt, beating Iran in the Gold Medal Final.

Iran’s star big man Hamed Hadaddi was a huge keyway presence throughout the Final and fully tested the Boomers’ frontcourt.

GIANT HEADACHE: Iran's centre Hamed Haddadi in the Asian Cup Gold Medal game.

“The Boomers are the Asian champions and on the verge of qualifying for next year’s FIBA World Cup, so this is a special time for our national team,” TEG Live chief executive Geoff Jones said.

“Home crowd support always matters and can make the difference in securing qualification. I urge fans to get behind the team and bring their colours and their voices.

“I am also delighted that fans in regional Victoria, who have contributed so much to the success of basketball in this country, can see the Boomers in action.

“The match in Bendigo will be one to remember.”

Jul 24

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