ROOKIE Jack White says Melbourne United is ready to embrace the atmosphere in Bendigo on Sunday for the club's first NBL game of the season in Victoria.
United will play the first of three home games at Bendigo Stadium when it takes on crosstown rivals South East Melbourne Phoenix in "Throwdown V".
The Bendigo Stadium is at reduced capacity, with the clash a sell out.
United has returned to Victoria following an 18-day stint in Cairns that had originally meant to be just five after the NBL was forced to revise its schedule due to border closures.
"It's super exciting to have our first game in Victoria... get the folks, friends and family up there (in Bendigo), so it should be a lot of fun, especially with the environment the Throwdown has," White said on Thursday.
"South East Melbourne is a really good team and we're just really excited for the opportunity to compete against them and to be in front of a crowd in my home state for the first time will be cool.
"Our preparation will be consistent for everyone we play this year. Every team is really talented, but for this game in particular we'll embrace the atmosphere the game is going to create and just enjoy it."
United, coached by Dean Vickerman, is the NBL's red-hot championship favourite and has opened its season with a pair of back-to-back wins over Cairns (87-85) and Adelaide (89-65).
The revising of the NBL schedule has delayed the United-Phoenix game in Bendigo by three weeks. It was originally scheduled as the competition's season-opener on January 10.
"There is so much uncertainty in the air at the moment... you never know when your next game is or whether something is going to get cancelled as we've already found out by being stuck in Cairns for a couple of weeks with the border closures," said White, who is averaging 9.5 points, 7.0 rebounds and 1.5 assists across his first two games.
"You've really just got to be ready for anything and roll with the punches. The team that can do that the best this year will probably have the best chance to win it all."
While United is off to an unbeaten start, South East Melbourne Phoenix in its second season in the competition is 1-2.
Sunday's game in Bendigo tips off at 3pm.
Have you signed up to the Bendigo Advertiser's daily newsletter and breaking news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in central Victoria.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.