D Days
H Hours
M Min
until the 2018 Commonwealth Games commence.
Longines Time
April 4 to 15 2018

The Cairns Guide to Commonwealth Games Basketball

7 Mar 2018 by Fiona Self

As an Event City of the Commonwealth Games, Cairns will host some of the Commonwealth’s best basketball teams as they begin the charge towards medals. The preliminary rounds and qualifying finals will be contested in Cairns and Townsville, with the Cairns Convention Centre hosting Pool A of the men’s competition and Pool B of the women’s competition.

With two high-energy matches of basketball included in every ticket session, read on for a guide to every action-packed day of basketball in Cairns. Tickets are $30 for adults and $15 for children.

Thursday 5 April 

The women’s competition starts in the evening (Get tickets: BK0501) with Jamaica meeting India in the opening match.

Jamaica will make its Commonwealth Games Basketball debut in Cairns and they’ve got their eyes on a spot on the podium. India will also be looking for a strong start to the tournament – the nation didn’t make it past the preliminary rounds in Melbourne in 2006 but they’re boasting a strong team, including the Times of India Sports Awards Basketball Player of the Year Jenna Scaria. The 24-year-old former high jumper is expected to be a key player in the Indian team.  

Next, New Zealand and Malaysia will take to the court to open their Commonwealth Games medal campaigns. The New Zealand team, affectionately known as the Tall Ferns, will be looking for redemption after losing the gold medal match to Australia in Melbourne. The team includes two players who have come to call Queensland home. Cheyannah Paalvast and Micaela Cocks play for WNBL team Townsville Fire with Cocks having become a key fixture of the team for seven seasons. Cocks was also part of the silver medal-winning New Zealand team in Melbourne.

Friday 6 April 

Friday evening (BK0601) will host one of the most anticipated matches of the men’s preliminary rounds: the Australian team against Canada. The Boomers are the reigning Commonwealth Games champions but Canada has showed great form in their 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup qualifiers this year.

Following the Australia vs Canada showdown, Nigeria and England continue the men’s preliminary rounds action. Nigeria were beaten by England in the Melbourne 2006 bronze medal match and will want to ensure an early win as they vie to finish on the podium this time around.

A GC2018 basketball at the Cairns lagoon
Cairns will host GC2018 Basketball preliminary rounds and qualifying finals.

Saturday 7 April 

The first session of the day (BK0701) starts in the morning, with New Zealand facing Jamaica in the women’s competition. Could Jamaica take a win from the reigning silver medallists? 

Canada and Nigeria are up next in the men’s competition. With Nigeria 32nd in the FIBA rankings and Canada 23rd, the two teams are closely matched and will set the stage for a competitive game. 

In the evening session (BK0702) Malaysia and India meet in the women’s competition. With both teams failing to progress past the preliminary rounds in Melbourne, each team will be fighting for a position in the qualifying finals. 

The final match of the day is New Zealand and Australia in the men’s competition. Australia overcame New Zealand 81-76 in the gold medal match in Melbourne. Will New Zealand turn the tables?  

Australian men's basketball team practising on a basketball court
The Australian men's team will play their GC2018 preliminary rounds in Cairns.

Sunday 8 April 

On Sunday evening (BK0801) it’s India and New Zealand in the women’s competition, followed by Jamaica and Malaysia. The two matches will be the final of the preliminary rounds, with no room for error if the teams are to secure a spot in the qualifying finals on Tuesday. 

Monday 9 April 

In the final sessions of the men’s preliminary rounds (BK0901), Commonwealth Games debutants Canada will come up against reigning bronze medallists England.

Then, home nation Australia will meet Nigeria. Both teams competed at the 2016 Rio Olympics but only Australia progressed through to the quarterfinals. Nigeria will have something to prove heading into the Cairns Convention Centre. 

Tuesday 10 April 

On Tuesday 10 April it’s qualifying finals time. The men’s qualifying final matches will be played in Cairns (BK1001) and the women’s matches in Townsville.

The 2018 Commonwealth Games is just the second time basketball has been contested at a Games, with the only other appearance in Melbourne in 2006. 

Will Australia continue their gold medal sweep from Melbourne? Will New Zealand be able to take gold instead of silver, or will a new team claim the crown?

Be part of Cairns basketball history and snap up your Commonwealth Games tickets now. You can also buy tickets for the Townsville preliminary matches and qualifying finals.

​​​​​​​Read the Cairns Mayor’s top picks for Festival 2018.

The Australian Basketball team includes:


  • Angus Brandt
  • Brad Newley
  • Cameron Gliddon
  • Chris Goulding
  • Damian Martin
  • Daniel Kickert
  • Jason Cadee
  • Jesse Wagstaff
  • Mitch Creek
  • Matt Hodgson
  • Nathan Sobey
  • Nick Kay


  • Alice Kunek
  • Belinda Snell
  • Cayla George
  • Ezi Magbegor
  • Jenna O’Hea
  • Katie Ebzery
  • Kelsey Griffin
  • Liz Cambage
  • Nicole Seekamp
  • Steph Blicavs
  • Steph Talbot
  • Tessa Lavey