December 15, 2016

NBL owner confirms expansion plans in 2018

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NBL boss Larry Kestelman has confirmed that the league will expand in 2018, telling News Corp that he is considering three new franchises.

He nominated a second Melbourne team, a New Zealand-based franchise in Wellington and an Australian franchise playing out of China as potential candidates.

This follows on from news earlier this month when the NBL’s general manager Jeremy Loeliger said expansion could occur as early as next season with possible new franchises coming from growth markets Mainila, the Philippines capital and Shanghai, China.

“I’m absolutely for expanding the number of teams playing in the competition and we are well on the way,” Kestelman told News Corp.

“It’s not five years away, but I’d say it’s probably challenging for next year.

“But if you wanted my calculated guess, I think we will probably see more teams not next year but the year after.

“I would love to see another team in Melbourne under the right model.

“I also think there is room in other parts of Australia. We’ve also had approaches from Wellington in New Zealand and Asia.

“I don’t hide the fact I’d love to see a team potentially based at another Australian location, but playing a lot of games out of China or the Philippines.

“It will still be an Australian NBL club, but it will build an audience and following in Asia.”

Read more at Fox Sports Australia.


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