The 2019 Sal’s National Basketball League (NBL) schedule has been released with nine teams set to battle it out for this year’s New Zealand championship.
Excitingly, this year’s national men’s league includes the Southern Huskies from Tasmania, an addition that is sure to test the very best teams in the Sal’s NBL.
The opening round tips-off on Thursday 11 April when the Manawatu Jets host the Supercity Rangers, while 2018 champs the Southland Sharks will have to wait until Sunday 14 April before they step on court to start their title defence with a tough match-up with the Canterbury Rams.
Though the Huskies will watch on from a distance in the opening week, they will experience a menacing start to life in the Sal’s NBL with three games in four days in Week Two, starting with a trip to play the Jets on Thursday (18 April), followed by games against the Saints on Friday (19 April) and Bay Hawks on Sunday (21 April).
All eyes will be on a third round clash featuring last season’s championship showdown between the Sharks and Saints.
“We’re really excited for the season ahead and what the Sal’s NBL will bring fans across New Zealand, and also now into Australia,” said newly-appointed NBL General Manager, Justin Nelson.
“Our vision is to take the league to the fans and make the NBL a great family event. We have a fans-first focus where the players will entertain with their skill and athleticism, while the clubs will entertain with lots of fan engagement.”
The Sal’s NBL season will feature each team playing 18 games across 14 rounds, with the Final Four scheduled to commence in late July.
Round 1 • Thursday April 11 – Manawatu Jets vs 2 Cheap Cars Supercity Rangers • Friday April 12 – Cigna Wellington Saints vs Taylor Hawks • Saturday April 13 – Taylor Hawks vs 2 Cheap Cars Supercity Rangers • Saturday April 13 – Mike Pero Nelson Giants vs Taranaki Mountainairs • Sunday April 14 – SIT Zero Fees Southland Sharks vs Wheeler Motor Company Canterbury Rams