South East Melbourne Phoenix to play inaugural games in China

NBL expansion club South East Melbourne Phoenix will play its first ever games in China later this month.

The Phoenix will play Jiangsu Dragons in Nanjing on May 29 and Shanghai Sharks in Shanghai on May 31.

The Phoenix enter the NBL next season with Simon Mitchell to coach the side, and their squad will include several of their signings for the new season plus players pushing for their remaining roster and development player spots.

Phoenix general manager Tommy Greer said his club was grateful for the chance to play overseas in one of the world's biggest basketball markets.

"As a club, we would like to thank the NBL and the Victorian Government for the opportunity to play in China," Greer said.

"It's a great opportunity for us to play some games ahead of our first NBL game but also build our brand globally in a growing basketball market with strong ties to Victoria. The tour will also give us the opportunity to evaluate some young local talent."

NBL chief executive Jeremy Loeliger said the games were a great opportunity.

"The NBL has a growing presence in China, with club and the NBL All-Stars team tours in recent years, as well as NBL games broadcast live to China," Loeliger said.

"This is an opportunity to continue to build those links and also provide our newest team South East Melbourne Phoenix a chance to promote their brand globally in a huge basketball market."

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