The National Basketball League Australia Game One goes to South East Melbourne Phoenix over Melbourne United

A great start to the NBL season with its latest franchise addition being a first round winner.

The 2019-20 NBL season is the 42nd season since the League’s inception in 1979. The addition of South East Melbourne Phoenix sees nine teams contesting the championship. The regular season is played between October 2019 and February 2020. This is followed by a post season playoff featuring the top 4 teams in March 2020.

This year the series will be televised, Free to Air, via SBS Viceland, in the first year of a two year deal. Streaming of all 126 games will be available live and free on streaming platforms such as SBS on Demand. ESPN will also broadcast 59 games including all games after 7.30 pm AEDT. Further details are below.

Read all about the South East Melbourne Phoenix vs Melbourne United game here:

Phoenix Open #NBL20 with Throwdown Triumph

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South East Melbourne Phoenix have risen to victory in their first game in the NBL with the league’s newest franchise scoring a 91-88 win over Melbourne United in their first ever ‘Throwdown’ at Melbourne Arena on Thursday night.

The cross-town rivals locked horns to open the 2019/20 season and with a sold out crowd in attendance to show how hungry Melbourne is to have rival NBL teams battling again, it was a game that went down to the wire.

The stars weren’t quite all there with Casey Prather and David Barlow missing for Melbourne while Tai Wesley hurt his hamstring for the Phoenix in the first quarter joining Adam Gibson and Terry Armstrong sidelined.

But those on the floor delivered and none more so than South East Melbourne superstar Mitch Creek.

Just back from two stints in the NBA, the Phoenix franchise player was a man-possessed stepping up with 28 points and 11 rebounds to cover for the early injury to Wesley.

The power forward scored their first NBL points, but went down with a flare up of his hamstring injury five minutes into the game.

Melbourne United were down nine heading into the last term but fought back at the finish as Chris Goulding nailed some crucial buckets including a lay-up to tie the game 84-84 with a minute to play.

But Creek stood tall nailing a three on the next play and as gallant as Melbourne were, they couldn’t outlast the Phoenix.

Melo Trimble attempted a three from the top of the key to force overtime in the final seconds but his shot missed. Shawn Long put it back in and, after being fouled by Kyle Adnam, nailed two key free throws with 0.6 seconds to play assuring his club of its inaugural win.

Goulding had 27 points while Long was a force in the second half with 26 points and 12 rebounds while import guard John Roberson finished with a classy 20 points for the Phoenix.

Phoenix coach Simon Mitchell praised his players for their gritty display.

“We weren’t the most composed team down the stretch but I thought we played our asses off,” Mitchell said.

“I thought we were tremendously gritty. I thought in a short time these guys have been able to establish a real pride in their uniform and what we are doing in the south-east.

“While we weren’t great, anyone who is thinking about following us is going to see what we are about from tonight’s game. Hopefully we will be a little cool under pressure next game.”

United coach Dean Vickerman said his side made too many errors and started too slowly.

“We were a step behind with how we came out and the offensive rebounds and second chance points they got early on,” Vickerman said.

“We didn’t really push the pace. Part of it was getting to your spacing and we made so many errors to get started and that disrupted a lot of our offence.

“We got four points outside of our main guys so we needed more people to step up as we had three guys out [injured]. But give credit to Mitch Creek. The two threes he made down the stretch were extremely tough, that’s why you pay a marquee guy like that.”

Melbourne plays Perth Wildcats at RAC Arena on Saturday in a Grand Final rematch before then embarking on their United States trip for games against the LA Clippers and Sacramento Kings.

The Phoenix rest until Round 2 when they host Brisbane Bullets at Melbourne Arena next Sunday afternoon.

NBL ROUND 1
MELBOURNE UNITED 88 (Goulding 27, Long 26, Trimble 16)
SOUTH EAST MELBOURNE PHOENIX 91 (Creek 28, Roberson 20, Adnam 11)

Source: nbl.com.au

How to Watch Round 1 of NBL20

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Hungry Jack’s NBL20 tips off on Thursday, October 3 and there are no shortage of viewing options as we begin one of our biggest seasons to date!

With new TV broadcast partners SBS VICELAND and ESPN on board, you can tune in there with games before 7:30pm AEST on SBS VICELAND, and games after 7:30pm AEST on ESPN.

For the digital viewer, you can catch every game live on SBS on Demand as well as NBL TV which also boast a selection of NBL Classics and other featured content including Condensed Games, giving you everything you need from the game in 10 minutes.

One game every round will be broadcast live on Facebook Watch, with Round featuring Melbourne United and South East Melbourne Phoenix in The Throwdown to open the season.

Thursday October 3
Melbourne United v South East Melbourne Phoenix – Melbourne Arena, 7:30pm AEST
ESPN, SBS on Demand, Facebook Watch, NBL TV

Friday October 4
Cairns Taipans v Sydney Kings – Cairns Convention Centre, 7:30pm AEST
ESPN, SBS on Demand, NBL TV

Saturday October 5
Perth Wildcats v Melbourne United – RAC Arena, 5:30pm AEST
SBS VICELAND (Channel 31), SBS on Demand, NBL TV

Sunday October 6
Illawarra Hawks v Brisbane Bullets – WIN Entertainment Centre, 3:00pm AEDT
SBS VICELAND (Channel 31), SBS on Demand, NBL TV

Source: nbl.com.au

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Melbourne gets second NBL team, to be based in south east

As reported last week, the Victorian State government is offering a huge boost to the sport of Basketball in the coming years. For your interest here is a full report from The Age, dated September 2nd.

The NBL’s new franchise will be in the South East Melbourne. Now, they need a name.
The NBL confirmed the long-suspected location on Sunday after a $126-million election commitment from the Victorian government to refurbish and expand the State Basketball Centre at Wantirna South.

The new south east Melbourne team, owned by Romie Chaudhari, co-owner of English Championship soccer team Swansea City, will be based at the centre for administration and training purposes but play at Melbourne Arena.

The new NBL team could also play two games per season at the State Basketball Centre once the renovations are completed, around 2022.

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Sunday’s announcement also featured a $1 million commitment to develop a business case for a 6000-8000 seat Knox Arena in the precinct but funding for Knox Arena’s construction and planning was not included in Sunday’s announcement.

Melbourne Arena will also receive $13 million in upgrades, which will help boost the capacity for basketball and netball games.

The NBL was not going to lock the team into Melbourne until they had commitments from the state government on the upgrade of the offices and training facilities, with the team planning to be based at the venue ahead of their first season in 2019-2020.

A re-elected Labor government would invest $82 million and Knox City council $25 million into building 10 new courts, making 18 in total at the State Basketball Centre, along with the upgrades to the current showcourt, expanding the office facilities and giving the locker rooms a much-needed renovation.

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The Victorian opposition have yet to commit to matching the government’s funding package but NBL and other basketball officials will be meeting with them in an attempt to gain their support.

General manager of the new Melbourne team, Tommy Greer, said the team already had a website established to register new fans and they would soon open a contest to select a nickname and colours.

“First and foremost we want to insert ourselves in the community out here but that is not given, you have to earn that,” Greer said.

“We will put the name and colours out to the community, we want everyone to jump onto southeastmelbourne.com.au to register interest and we will keep everyone across the movements from there.”

Signing players is still a way down the track considering the new NBL season will soon begin but Greer is already keeping a close watch on overseas-based Australians and those on the fringe of the NBA like Victorian star Mitch Creek.

NBL chief executive Jeremy Loeliger said the decision to base the new team in the south east was finalised by the funding commitment for the stadium, which already houses the offices of Basketball Australia, Basketball Victoria, WNBL club Melbourne Boomers and the Knox Raiders Basketball Association.

“It was unquestionably the deciding factor amongst a number of compelling propositions, and I applaud the Victorian government and Knox City Council for their recognition of the importance of basketball in the Australian sporting landscape,” Loeliger said.

“Melbourne’s south east has long been the stronghold of basketball participation in Australia with about 100,000 of Victoria’s 240,000 total registered participants and it has a rich history in elite and community basketball.”

There is an option for Basketball Australia to move its Centre of Excellence from the Australian Institute of Sport to the State Basketball Centre but that is contingent on the new facilities being better than the state of the art training centre in Canberra which the COE shares with the NBA Global Academy.

For the COE to move to Melbourne, the State Basketball Centre will also need a dormitory building to house 36 or more athletes and elite level treatment, dining and recovery facilities along with the technological and human support available in Canberra.

Little of that was funded in Sunday’s announcement so any move would be a long time away and the NBA has not yet considered any move from Canberra for its academy.

“We have a commitment with the Andrews government that said we have a high benchmark to compare with,” Basketball Australia chief executive Anthony Moore said.

“The AIS is a world-class facility and we have been consistent with our discussions with government saying this is what we have got, we have a Rolls-Royce solution in Canberra and the commitment from government is to better that.

“For our national high performance program to beat the world’s best, it would mean we would have something special here, in the event they don’t meet [that benchmark] then that will be a discussion for our board at a future point in time.”

Melbourne Boomers could receive the most immediate rewards should whoever wins government carry out the upgrades as they play their home games at the stadium and badly need an expanded locker room with the current one too small to comfortably fit 12 elite players.

The Boomers have four players in the Opals squad to play in the FIBA Women’s World Cup later this month and also featured Liz Cambage last season.

“With improved amenities, court technologies and improved game-day experiences for all of our fans, we are going to see a terrific show court here,” Boomers general manager Justin Nelson said.

Source: https://www.smh.com.au/sport/basketball/melbourne-gets-second-nbl-team-to-be-based-in-south-east-20180902-p50198.html

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