THE inaugural NBL1 season will tip off on Friday, March 20 with former National Basketball League (NBL) foes the Geelong Supercats and Nunawading Spectres going head-to-head at Geelong Arena in a blockbuster triple-header opening night. Across the other side of the state, Dandenong Rangers face the Basketball Australia Centre of Excellence at home, while the Hobart Huskies make their Australian debut against Sandringham Sabres in Hobart.
Each team will play 20 games across 15 rounds during the home and away season, with the NBL1 championship game scheduled for Saturday, August 17 – the week before the Boomers take on Team USA at Marvel Stadium. NBL1 will have four feature rounds in season 2019 – ANZAC Round, Mother’s Day Round, Rivalry round and Indigenous Round.
NBL Chief Operating Officer Andy Crook said the opening night blockbuster Triple Header – of which all matches are streamed – is an exciting start to the new competition.
“The release of the NBL1 fixture builds the excitement and anticipation ahead of what is sure to be a thrilling inaugural season,” he said. “The Friday night triple header to begin the season on March 29 marks a new era for Australian basketball, with the Hobart Huskies making their Australian debut. “The NBL1 championship game will be played a week before the Australian Boomers host Team USA at Marvel Stadium, in what promises to be one of the biggest years in Australian basketball.”
ANZAC Round will be highlighted by Geelong facing the Centre of Excellence on ANZAC Day in Canberra, with both teams to attend the dawn service ahead of a 2pm tip off. The Frankston Blues and Dandenong Rangers will continue their tradition of playing on ANZAC Day Eve, while the remaining games of the round will be played Saturday and Sunday.
The league will support the Breast Cancer Network Australia (BBCNA) with Pink Round scheduled for Friday, May 10 to Sunday, May 12. Five matches will be played on Mother’s Day in the biggest round of the year, a total of 28 games will be played in just three games.
Rivalry round will see some of Australian basketball’s biggest rivalries reignited, with marquee match-ups including the Nunawading Spectres v Melbourne Tigers, Geelong Supercats v Ballarat Miners, Kilsyth Cobras v Knox Raiders, Eltham Wildcats v Diamond Valley Eagles and Ringwood Hawks v Waverley Falcons.
Indigenous round will run from Friday, July 12 to Sunday, July 14, with NBL1 clubs partnering with their local Indigenous groups to run programs that connect with Indigenous communities in their areas.
“With 360 games to be played across 19 venues, fans will have ample opportunity to watch and support their team in one of Australia’s premier basketball leagues,” NBL1 Manager Dean Anglin said. “NBL1 will celebrate dates which resonate with Australian public with ANZAC Round, Pink Round and Indigenous Round, while also providing fans a chance to reconnect with great feuds from the past with Rivalry Round.”
Further information is available via the NBL1 website – www.nbl1.com.au.