Phoenix to tune up for NBL entry in China

The NBL's ninth team will tune-up for their inaugural campaign with a two-game tour of basketball-crazy China.

South East Melbourne Phoenix are set to play their first games as a franchise later this month as they prepare to enter the NBL for the 2019-20 season.

Phoenix, who will share Melbourne Arena with cross-town rivals Melbourne United, face Jiangsu Dragons in Nanjing on May 29 and then the Shanghai Sharks on May 31.

"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," Phoenix general manager Tommy Greer said in a statement on Tuesday.

Boomers star Mitch Creek, New Zealand Breakers and Melbourne United title winner Tai Wesley and 2013 NBL scoring leader Ben Madgen have all signed with Phoenix.

Phoenix plan to announce a touring squad shortly, with a number of prospects having a shot to prove themselves before coach Simon Mitchell finalises his playing list.

"The tour will also give us the opportunity to evaluate some young local talent," Greer said.