THE Bendigo Stadium will host all eight NBL clubs next month for the competition’s pre-season tournament.
The “NBL Blitz” will be co-hosted by Bendigo and Ballarat.
The Bendigo games will be held on Thursday, September 20, with the first at 11am:
11am – Illawara Hawks v Brisbane Bullets;
1pm – New Zealand Breakers v Perth Wildcats;
5:30pm – Melbourne United v Adelaide 36ers;
7:30pm – Sydney Kings v Cairns Taipans.
It will be the second taste of NBL for the Bendigo Stadium in less than a month following Thursday night’s pre-season match between Melbourne United and Sydney Kings.
“It’s great we’re going to be playing the pre-season Blitz in both Bendigo and Ballarat,” NBL chief executive Jeremy Loeliger said at Thursday’s announcement.
“We’re going to have all eight teams in both towns and a huge amount of community engagement.
“This is an exciting time for basketball in Australia, and those games that will be here in Bendigo and Ballarat are going to be the last time you see these teams hit out before they go over for the NBA pre-season in the US.”
As well as the four matches in Bendigo, eight games will be played in Ballarat on September 22-23, while a range of community activities at both venues will include clinics, 3x3 matches, plus wheelchair and indigenous basketball.
“This is a historic day for us here in Bendigo,” Bendigo Stadium chief executive officer Nathan O’Neill said.
“Having all eight NBL teams playing on the showcourt on September 20 is why we built this $23.6 million development… it’s a historic occasion for us.”
The NBL Blitz games in Bendigo will be played just three days after the Australian Boomers host Kazakhstan at the Bendigo Stadium in a FIBA World Cup qualifier on September 17.
“Bendigo Stadium is our region’s flagship venue for national and indoor sports and I couldn’t be more thrilled to see the stadium lock in this fantastic showcase of elite Australian basketball,” Bendigo West MP Maree Edwards said.
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