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Basketball's best are ready to play

16 Mar 06 02:15

Australian Basketballer Lauren Jackson in action.

Australian basketballer Lauren Jackson in action.

The Australian men’s Basketball team, the ‘Boomers’, and the New Zealand team are both favourites to win gold in the competition starting tonight.

 

Lauren Jackson, known as the best women’s Basketball player in the world, will co-captain the Australian women’s ‘Opals’ with Jenny White.

 

Eight nations will compete in both the men’s and women’s events, with the strongest challenges expected to come from Nigeria, New Zealand, England, South Africa and Malaysia.

 

Preliminary matches begin at the Bendigo Stadium and Traralgon Sports Stadium, the first time these regional centres have seen international competition, before culminating with the finals at the Multi-Purpose Venue, Melbourne Park.

 

Two strong men’s teams start proceedings - New Zealand against South Africa - while Barbados face tough opposition in the English team.

In Traralgon, the first women's match sees Australia challenge India, while at the Bendigo Stadium, Mozambique meets England.

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