Breakers shoot for another Christchurch game
Christchurch has received a vote of confidence from the New Zealand Breakers, with the team to return next year.
The two-time defending Australian National Basketball League (ANBL) champions will play the first of their two preseason games against the Melbourne Tigers at CBS Canterbury Arena on September 10.
The second match will be played at Wellington's TSB Bank Arena on September 12.
Almost 6000 people turned up to watch the Breakers down the Wollongong Hawks 70-61 in a preseason contest in the city's first Breakers match in September. It was the largest crowd for a basketball game in Christchurch.
New Zealand Breakers general manager Richard Clarke said the franchise was keen to keep giving back to the city, which is still starved of top-level sport after the earthquakes.
"The response we had from the Christchurch public was exceptional," he said.
"They are still going through a tough time down there and we wanted to keep the relationship going."
He said the Breakers were also keen to continue assisting basketball at a grassroots level in Canterbury.
Wellington will host the Breakers for the first time since 2003, when they stage a regular-season game against the Cairns Taipans.
Clarke said with both islands hosting a game, he was satisfied they could reach as many people as possible while maintaining the North Shore-based team's commitment to taking preseason games around New Zealand. Fairfax NZ
- The Press
Is the Canterbury team 'mentally soft'?Related story: North Harbour stun hapless Canterbury team