AHEAD of the upcoming National Basketball League (NBL) season, Basketball Australia has announced a placeholder NBL Blitz series ahead of the delayed season start. NBL Blitz will act as a pre-season tournament for the NBL teams, as they are given the opportunity to test the waters before the season opener.
Many teams use this time to experiment with their lineups and try out any new players, young and old. It is also provides the first opportunity for fans to see their favorite teams and players hit the court after the offseason. This chance will also hold much more weight for many fans, given the restrictions and lockdowns that have prevented fans from attending their favorite sports in person.
The NBL Blitz will see the league’s 10 teams split across the country, with six teams heading to Tasmania for two weeks, and the remaining four teams spread out across two other states.
The New Zealand Breakers, Adelaide 36ers, Perth Wildcats, Brisbane Bullets and Cairns Taipans will be heading south to spend a fortnight in the Apple Isle with the newfound Tasmanian JackJumpers, while the South East Melbourne Phoenix, Melbourne United, Illawarra Hawks and Sydney Kings will be splitting their games across New South Wales and Victoria. These matches will begin on November 13 and go through until November 28 in a high-powered few weeks of pre-season action.
This will be the first bit of NBL action for the league’s new expansion team in the Tasmanian JackJumpers, who also claim hosting rights for the second time in three years, and the side will be likely welcoming plenty of fans through their doors for the first time. The NBL Blitz will also see Hobart’s MyBank State Arena host its first match since its world-class improvements. Fans and players alike will be extremely excited to check out the new hardwood and facilities.
NBL commissioner Jeremy Loeliger explained that the league is looking forward to the return of the format, as it provides many uses.
“I have no doubt the Blitz will be another first-class event and it has the added bonus of giving the JackJumpers the perfect springboard to enter the league before they have the honour of tipping off the season opener against the Adelaide 36ers at MyState Bank Arena,” Loeliger said.
“We trust that along with the JackJumpers, our teams Brisbane, New Zealand, Adelaide, Perth and Cairns will all be afforded the best opportunity to tune up for the season proper which begins on December 3.”
With the NBL Blitz set to begin in less than a month’s time, there is little time remaining during which NBL fans must contain their excitement. With the delayed start to the season, this pre-season tournament will still provide some exciting action for fans and basketball purists across the country.
Picture credit: NBL