Rotorua is fast becoming a go-to destination for top sports teams.

Today Basketball New Zealand announced the Tall Blacks will play Hong Kong at Rotorua's Energy Events Centre on June 28.

It is one of two home-venues announced for the June and July window of the FIBA World Cup Qualifiers.

Three days after the Hong Kong game, the Tall Blacks will take centre stage at Spark Arena in Auckland against China, on July 1.


Basketball New Zealand chief executive Iain Potter said both venues had worked hard to ensure their facilities met FIBA's specified requirements to host the qualifiers.

"To host the FIBA World Cup Qualifiers, we need to meet FIBA requirements to ensure the games are going to be world class in both the arenas and through the broadcast. Both facilities have worked hard by investing in future games and meeting those requirements, including specified score boards, shot clocks and backstop units," Potter said.

When the Hong Kong game tips off in Rotorua, it will be the first time in four years that Bay of Plenty basketball fans have seen the Tall Blacks play at a venue close to them.

"The Tall Blacks haven't played in the Bay of Plenty since 2014 when they took on Korea in Tauranga, so we're looking forward to returning to the region. It's also exciting for us to help showcase one of New Zealand's greatest tourist venues through what is a global event, these FIBA World Qualifier games are a big deal worldwide," he said.

Rotorua Basketball development co-ordinator Sue Pene said she would be encouraging locals to go along and support the New Zealand side because "it's not every day you get an international game at home".

"We're absolutely thrilled to have such a prestigious game come to Rotorua, we're all looking forward to it. For the Rotorua community itself to see international events coming here is great," Pene said.

Having hosted almost 200 teams during the Maori Basketball National Championships last weekend, Pene knows just how good a venue the Energy Events Centre is.

"It's a brilliant venue and it's not just the great basketball courts. The events centre has a real Maori cultural feel, it's steeped in our culture and you know you're in the heart of Rotorua. That's how it sets itself apart from other venues, which I think was demonstrated last week, and it's of an international standard - it has to be to host an event like this.


"With national events especially, I know locally the Bay of Plenty sides, Waikato, Auckland, they all enjoy coming to Rotorua for basketball events. It's good to go to that next step with an international game. It should be a good game," she said.

Before playing the two home games this winter, the Tall Blacks have two away games, in three weeks time. The next FIBA window is February 19-27. The Tall Blacks will play China on February 23 in China's Dongguan City. Then they travel to Seoul to seek revenge against Korea on February 26, who they were narrowly beaten by in Wellington last November. Both games will be broadcast by Maori Television.