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NBL v NBA matches set to return

NBL clubs will make the trip to the USA this October for pre-season matches against NBA franchises, NBL commissioner Jeremy Loeliger has confirmed.

Speaking to Sports Breakfast on Thursday, Loeliger said discussions were in place for the exhibition matches to make a return to the calendar, marking a return to the format for the first time since October 2019.

“You will see NBL teams playing in the U.S. later this year as part of the NBA preseason.” He said.

I can’t confirm which teams or when, just yet… but you will see NBL teams participating in the NBA preseason.”

Between 2017 and 2019 15 exhibition matches were played between NBL and NBA teams, strengthening ties between the two leagues.

The NBL has also created the NBA Next Stars program, which has seen players such as LaMelo Ball, RJ Hampton and most recently Josh Giddey play NBL before embarking on their NBA careers.

Perth Wildcats CEO Troy Georgiu confirmed the club was keen to be involved in NBL v NBA matches later this year.

“It was an amazing experience to head across in 2018 and play the Utah Jazz and Denver Nuggets, it’s a wonderful opportunity for our players to take on the best players in the world and be on the biggest stage in the world,” Georgiu told Sports Breakfast on Thursday.

“If that opportunity does present itself again, we would be very keen to take it up and continue that opportunity pre-season to play some NBA teams.”

The Wildcats returned home to Perth earlier this week after more than two months on the road due to border closures, their first home game set for March 20 when they host New Zealand Breakers at RAC Arena.

IMAGE: Fox Sports.


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