2021 Breakers MVP Finn Delany is far from intimidated by another NBL season schedule, with the Kiwi club heading to Australia again to kick off their campaign with a long run over the trench.
The NBL season schedule released on Tuesday was delayed by postponing the league to early December and letting the 28-game regular season schedule run until the end of April. The Breakers will play their first 12 road games in Australia, with a return to New Zealand on February 14 from their last 16 games at Kiwiland.
The schedule is again subject to changes imposed by Covid and retains the flexibility to move around with any changes imposed by state and government regulations. But the goal is to make the season go as “naturally” as possible and to play for as many fans as possible.
The Breakers have confirmed they plan to play 10 of their 14 home games between February 5 and April 23 in Auckland, with the remaining four to be split between regional New Zealand.
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The Kiwi club will return to Australia next month, where they spent 154 days in the 21 roaming campaign preparing for the season, including four games for all teams in the league. The NBL has confirmed that preparations for the Kiwi Club will take place in Tasmania.
Next, the Oakland team will start 12 straight games in opposing stadiums between December 4 and January 28. The NBL also said the Breakers plan to have a “can call home” base for the pair from the months they are in Australia, most likely New South Wales or Victoria.
“Honestly, I would have slept in a tent in Australia if it had meant we were playing basketball and starting the season,” said Delaney, who has had a season averaging 16.2 points. and 6.7 rebounds per game.
“It was inevitable that we started the season in Australia. We saw it coming and we will be better prepared this year.
The NBL has said their priority is getting fans back to the stadiums, which is why they have postponed the Breakers’ home schedule.
“The NBL is a fan favorite and playing in front of the public is vital for the league and our clubs,” said Commissioner Jeremy Luliger. “Giving the fans a better chance to see their teams play against each other at home has been a major factor in pushing things back a bit and the way the schedule is structured.”
The NBL commissioner said they were well aware of how the Breakers were stolen last season and were determined to create a more level playing field.
“We hope to bring them back to New Zealand as early as 2022 and we want to play at home for the fans as much as possible,” Luliger said. thing. “We will try to minimize delays and inconvenience in their season.
“The truth is, we don’t yet know when the bubble will open, but we are very concerned to ensure minimal disruption for the Breakers and the large cohort involved, especially family, coaching staff. is a big travel party ahead and we learned a lot of lessons from last season, so hopefully we can put them at ease as soon as possible. “
Loeleger said the NBL has built contingencies into the schedule to adapt to the changing circumstances surrounding the pandemic, such as reopening of borders, vaccine targets and restrictions on public gatherings.
“There are many factors to consider, and we’ve tried to plan them all,” he said. “We are confident that with the opening of New Zealand and Australia our schedule will open with them and we will again lead the league as we used to.”
The Breakers open their season at Cairns Taipans on December 4, meeting newcomers Tasmania JackJumpers four times and the other eight teams three times each.
Breakers coach Dan Shamir said he was more comfortable with the 21-22 season approaching, with some uncertainty over how things would turn out.
“The reason for our optimism is that we are looking forward to playing 14 home games,” he said. “Although they don’t spread in the first game of the season, we can go home.
“It’s great for us and a very different story from last year.”
NBL 2020-21 diagram for NZ circuit breakers (NZT):
Saturday December 4: @Cairns Taipans 10pm; Friday December 10: @SE Melbourne Phoenix 9:30 p.m .; Friday December 17: @Illawarra Hawks 9:30 p.m .; Sunday December 19: @Melbourne United at 3 p.m .; Sunday December 26: @Tasmania JackJumpers at 3 p.m. Sunday January 2: @Adelaide 36ers 3pm; Saturday January 8: @Perth Wildcats at 10 p.m. Friday January 14: @Perth Wildcats 11:30 p.m .; Sunday January 16: @Sydney Kings 5pm; Sunday, January 23: @Sydney Kings 3 p.m.; Tuesday January 25: @SEM Phoenix 9:30 p.m .; Friday January 28: @Tasmania JackJumpers 9:30 p.m.
Saturday February 5: v Brisbane Bullets in NZ to be confirmed at 7.30pm; Thursday February 10: v Adelaide 36ers in NZ to be confirmed at 7:30 p.m .; Saturday February 12: For the Tasmania JackJumpers at NZ TBC 7:30 p.m .; Sunday February 20: v Cairns Taipans on NZ to be confirmed at 5 pm; Friday February 25: v Cairns Taipans on NZ to be confirmed at 7:30 p.m .; Sunday February 27: vs. Illawarra Hawks at NZ TBC at 3pm Sunday March 6: Against SEM Phoenix at NZ TBC at 3pm; Sunday March 13: Against the Sydney Kings at NZ TBC at 3pm; Thursday March 17: – Brisbane Bullets at NZ TBC 7:30 p.m .; Friday March 25: v Illawarra Hawks on NZ to be confirmed at 7:30 p.m .; Sunday March 27: for the Tasmania JackJumpers at NZ TBC 5pm; Thursday March 31: @Melbourne United 9:30 p.m .; Sunday April 3: @Brisbane Bullets at 3 p.m. Saturday April 9: vs. Melbourne United at 7:30 p.m. Sunday April 17th: v Adelaide 36ers at NZ TBC at 3pm; Saturday April 23: v Perth Wildcats in NZ to be confirmed at 7:30 p.m.
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