24 Apr 2015

Tall Blacks organise testing schedule

12:58 pm on 24 April 2015

The New Zealand men's basketball team has confirmed games in Europe and Asia as a part of their preparations for the Olympic qualifying series against Australia in August.

Tall Black BJ Anthony in action against USA at 2014 World Cup.

Tall Black BJ Anthony in action against USA at 2014 World Cup. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The Tall Blacks will assemble for trials in Auckland in early July before settling into a week-long camp ahead of games in Europe and then on to China for the Stankovic Cup.

The Tall Blacks will play Great Britain in London on July 25th, travel to Croatia for a game on July 29th and then to Slovenia for a game on July 30th.

The Stankovic Cup is played in China from August 3rd to 8th with Mexico, Venezuela and China confirmed opposition.

The team will then head home for a brief break before reassembling to take on Australia in a home and away series in Melbourne on August 15th with the decider in Wellington on August 18th.

Basketball New Zealand chief executive Iain Potter said plenty of work had gone into securing a thorough and testing preparation for a vital series against neighbours Australia.

"The programme we have put in place will give coach Paul Henare and the team the preparation they need to be at their best in what is a vital Oceania Series against Australia, with Olympic qualification on the line," he said.

"As always we have to balance the perfect preparation against the resources available but such is the Tall Blacks reputation on the world stage that we have been able to take up a number of invites against world class opposition and pull together an exciting series of games."

Tall Blacks Head Coach Paul Henare said he was delighted with the schedule - one that would let him to fully test his roster against world class opposition ahead of the games against Australia.

"This will be an intense six-week time in which we will prepare ourselves to be at our best to face Australia," he said.

"We know what a task that will be against an NBA laden Boomer roster so to get games against quality opposition in hostile environments was vital."