Ebene News – UA – NBL rushes to move Victorian and NSW clubs before borders close

NBL rushes to send teams from Victoria and NSW interstate as series of border closures go into effect

The Melbourne-based New Zealand Breakers and South East Melbourne Phoenix will fly to Hobart on Friday as Melbourne United continue their training camp in Cairns as talks continue on their seat

The South East Melbourne Phoenix will fly to Hobart on Friday, with the New Zealand BreakersCredit: Getty Images

The NBL is also working to find a new location for the Sydney Kings and Hawks, who have both moved to Albury but could be moved to Tasmania or another location in the coming days, meaning five of the nine league teams might struggle play home matches in the first rounds

Bendigo Stadium will host the NBL season opener between United and Phoenix on January 10, the Phoenix will host the Hawks at the State Basketball Center in southeast Melbourne on January 14, and United are expected to host the Breakers in Bendigo on January 15

Phoenix general manager Tommy Greer says his club will continue to plan to play their first home game until authorities are ‘notified otherwise’

“This season all teams and the NBL will need to be nimble as we work in the ever-changing COVID-19 landscape,” Greer said

The league has not made any call for any games as they continue to seek more information from the Victorian government and health officials

All states have announced they will close their borders with New South Wales due to the ongoing outbreak in that state and Western Australia has also reinstated restrictions on Victoria, only entrants allowed being allowed to enter the state without having to spend 14 days in quarantine

It remains to be seen whether Tasmania will host NBL matches in the early rounds

The Derwent Entertainment Center in Hobart is being rebuilt ahead of the NBL’s Tasmania JackJumpers joining the league, so it could be difficult to find an acceptable venue

NBL general manager Jeremy Loeliger said the Breakers and Phoenix flew to Hobart on Friday while plans for other clubs were made

“Given the current situation in Melbourne, we have decided that it is prudent for both clubs to relocate to Hobart and they will be housed there and train under strict COVID protocols,” Loeliger said

“This will give us time to assess and work on the next steps required as we prepare for the next NBL season We hope that the current restrictions and resulting border closures will be eased the most. quickly possible, but we will need to remain flexible in our approach and we will continue to be guided by advice from the relevant health authorities

“We are also working to move the Sydney Kings and Hawks from their current locations in Albury, given the current situation in New South Wales

“Melbourne United are currently in Cairns scheduled to play pre-season games against the Taipans tonight [Thursday night] and Saturday”

In other sports, the A-League may resume as shown in its recently reworked three-round game which was altered when the NSW outbreak began

No team will travel to NSW, while no team from NSW will leave the state. NSW teams will play among themselves in the meantime, including Wellington Phoenix, who are based there

National Basketball League, New Zealand Breakers, Sydney Kings, New South Wales, Victoria, Jeremy Loeliger, Melbourne United

Ebene News – UA – NBL rushes to do advance Victorian and NSW clubs border closures

Source: https://www.smh.com.au/sport/basketball/nbl-rushes-to-move-victorian-nsw-clubs-ahead-of-border-closures-20201231-p56r31.html