Panousis honoured to wear pink for best friend Mangakahia

January 14, 2024 | Sydney Flames news

Sunday’s Pink Hoops is looming as the biggest day on the Sydney basketball calendar and few know the significance of it better than Flames guard Vanessa Panousis.

She is the best friend of Tiana Mangakahia – the brainchild behind the event – and has been there every step of the way during her battle with breast cancer.

“It means a lot to be playing in the first-ever Pink Hoops,” Panousis said.


“It’s raising awareness for such an important cause as so many people are affected by breast cancer, so for Hoops Capital to put on this game means everything.

“It is amazing that Hoops Capital are doing this for Tiana – she is so grateful for everyone in this club and really feels all the love and support.”

The Flames head into the day at Qudos Bank Arena fresh off a loss against the Southside Flyers on Friday – a defeat the Sydney Comets junior believes the group has learnt from ahead of their fixture with Perth.

“We did some really good things on Friday night, we just need to tighten up some of our lapses and make sure we don’t let teams’ runs stretch out for too long,” Flame #143 said.

“For us to defeat Perth, we need to make sure we take care of the boards as well as our defensive transition.


“We know they are a run-and-gun team and like to play early in transition so we need to make sure we move the ball on offence and make them play defence for long possessions.

“Focusing on us is going to be important as we know how good we can be when we focus on our brand of basketball.”

Watch Tiana Mangakahia’s Pink Hoops feature via Sydney Flames’ YouTube channel above. While you’re there, be sure to hit subscribe, to ensure you never miss out on any of our great videos.

The WNBL fixture tips off the huge days of hoops at 1.15pm AEDT, before the Kings take on New Zealand from 3.45pm.

Tickets are still available for the day here.