2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games ambassador Patty Mills helped unveil the seeding’s and pools for the men’s and women’s basketball competitions this week.
The Commonwealth Games basketball tournament which opens on 5 April 2018, will see the introduction of a vastly different looking competition format to those offered by FIBA. The top four seeded teams will be all pooled together, ensuring the more highly ranked nations play against each other, and in turn increasing the number of meaningful games throughout the tournament.
Australia, Nigeria, New Zealand and Canada will feature in Pool A on the men’s competition as the highest seeds. In the women’s draw, the Opals are joined by Canada, England and Mozambique as the top four seeds in Pool A.
In the new competition format, the top two teams from Pool A will qualify for the semi-finals following the preliminaries, while the bottom two sides will play off in qualifying finals against the top two placed teams from Pool B. The winners of the qualifying games will progress to the semi-finals while the bottom two sides from Group B will be eliminated.
The Cairns Convention Centre will play host to the men’s Pool A matches between top four seeded nations, which includes the Boomers, as well as the women’s Pool B matches. The Townsville Entertainment and Convention Centre will host the top four seeded women’s nations in Pool A which includes the Opals, alongside the men’s Pool B fixtures. The qualifying finals for the men will be held in Cairns, while Townsville will host the women’s equivalent. The business-end of the tournament will then head to the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre for the semi-final and medal games from 13 April 2018.
While Australia is set to field ‘Emerging’ Boomers and Opals teams at the event, Mills’ was still excited about the event despite not being available to take to the court personally.
“It’s really exciting for the people of North Queensland, especially the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, to have the opportunity to witness international basketball in their own backyard,” said Mills in an official statement.
“Unfortunately I can’t be part of the action during the Games due to my NBA commitments but I know the Australian men’s and women’s teams are going to be bursting with pride to represent their country on home soil. It’s an exciting time for Basketball in Australia and I’m sure the people of North Queensland are going to make the most of this rare opportunity.”
Australia’s men and women will enter the Games as the defending champions from the 2006 Melbourne highest world ranked teams, with the Boomers at #10 despite their fourth placing at the 2016 Rio Olympics, and the Opals at #4 according to FIBA.com. New Zealand at #20, Great Britain at #22 and Canada at #24 are the next best ranked teams in the men, however Great Britain will not be competing as a collective.
In the women’s competition, #6 ranked Canada is likely to pose a serious threat to the Opals, with African nation Mozambique next best at #26 (Great Britain is #21). New Zealand’s Tall Ferns are currently ranked #38.
You can purchase tickets via the official ticketing page.
Pools for preliminary matches at the Cairns Convention Centre Men's Pool A 1 AUSTRALIA 2 NIGERIA 3 NEW ZEALAND 4 CANADA Women's Pool B 5 NEW ZEALAND 6 JAMAICA 7 INDIA 8 MALAYSIA Pools for preliminary matches at the Townsville Entertainment and Convention Centre Men's Pool B 5 ENGLAND 6 CAMEROON 7 INDIA 8 SCOTLAND Women's Pool A 1 AUSTRALIA 2 CANADA 3 ENGLAND 4 MOZAMBIQUE