Australia Breakers push for NZ NBL hub

07:16  05 august  2020
07:16  05 august  2020 Source:   msn.com

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The New Zealand Breakers are pushing to host an NBA-style hub to begin the NBL season later this year.

Breakers owner and CEO Matt Walsh floated the idea on Wednesday, while conceding a delay to the planned December 3 tip-off, or their relocation to the Gold Coast, were also considerations.

He is keen on New Zealand's own version of the NBA's Orlando bubble though, where Australian teams come to them given the country's clean bill of health.

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In contrast, both Melbourne clubs have halted training after the coronavirus swept through United's squad, with 12 confirmed cases on Sunday.

"A month ago when things were looking a lot better in Australia everyone was feeling positive about the bubble opening," Walsh told media in Auckland on Wednesday.

"Now, with Victoria taking a real step backwards, we're looking at basically three scenarios.

"One, is us being stationed in Australia for the whole season; two, is us playing all of our home games to start the season and Australia teams coming over if there's a way to make that work; and, three, the season being delayed and trying to put it off in time for the bubble to open."

The NBL's return plan is brewing but the league refused to comment on Walsh's proposal on Wednesday.

"I can tell you I'm strongly endorsing New Zealand as the hub," Walsh said.

"It's the only place in the world we can do safe travel and have zero risk of coronavirus, and I think it makes a lot of sense.

"It makes a lot of sense if you're a Melbourne team, you station yourself in Wellington or Christchurch and probably get good crowds if you play home games there.

"There are real discussions happening around that."

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