Dongguan Leopards to bring fast paced game to NZ     09/18/2013 15:16

Expect a fast paced game with plenty of thrills and scoring action to be the order of the day when the Dongguan Leopards from China travel to New Zealand to play the SKYCITY Breakers in a history making three game series in late September, early October.

Following on from hosting the Melbourne Tigers last week and for the first time at professional club level, New Zealand and Chinese sports teams will go head to head as the SKYCITY Breakers host the Dongguan Leopards in the three game ‘Champions Challenge’ series. And the series is a great way for fans to come along and experience a Breakers game night, with tickets for the Vector Arena game on October 3 starting at $10 for children and $15 for adults, as the club effectively opens the doors to the entire community wanting to get a taste of the action.

The 3 games will be hosted by New Plymouth (Sept 29), Hamilton (Oct 1) and Auckland (Oct 3), with the three venues watching history unfold as the game continues to grow and develop on the back of the club’s championship three-peat.

Dongguan Leopards head coach Brian Goorjian is excited by the series but also the forging of a long term partnership with the SKYCITY Breakers that has the potential to reach beyond the basketball court.

"The Breakers are the premier team in the Aussie league, they play the best basketball, they are the best organisation. For us, we had Corey (Webster) over to our programme and he worked with us for 3 months, from that point I wanted to form a relationship with New Zealand, looking to build something beyond just the playing of basketball. This is the first step, there will be some things to iron out and make it better, but from our stand point it promises to be a great learning experience."

Goorjian is a former Boomers head coach and hugely respected in this part of the world, having coached the Sydney Kings to the only other three-peat of championship wins in the ANBL. He says fans are in for a treat and a contrast in basketball styles.

"If they (the Breakers) will let us we will run the floor. The game over here is a little more open, a little more high scoring and fast flowing. Chinese players can be more slightly built, they have good hand eye coordination but are less physical - all countries in this region play a ‘hands off’ defence and they run, but when they play the likes of NZ they are not used to having a body laid on them.

"Former NBA players are having more of an influence in our league, referees call it a foul if you put a hand on a player and this creates a free flowing game. I’m sure the Breakers will play a much more physical style, whichever way it goes it will be good for us, might be us learning how to play that more physical game while we are here."

Goorjian will bring a largely youthful looking roster to New Zealand as the Leopards prepare also for the Chinese Basketball League which runs concurrent to the ANBL. Six of the players stand at 2m or taller, something that is sure to provide the SKYCITY Breakers big men a perfect challenge heading into the ANBL campaign. Unfortunately for local fans neither American import is making the trip, with both due to arrive in China to begin preparations for the season at the same time as the team arrives home from the tour to New Zealand. Fans are still going to be treated to a fast paced open court style of game that will be in contrast to the style of basketball played in the ANBL, promising entertainment in all three venues.

来源     Editor:谭晶