NBL resumes regular October start date

·1-min read

The NBL season will revert to its traditional spring start for 2022-23, hopeful of dodging more COVID-related interruptions.

The past season was played December to May but with the draw released on Monday, the first matches will be played on Saturday October 1.

South East Melbourne Phoenix will host grand finalists Tasmania JackJumpers in the first leg of a double-header before the Illawarra Hawks and champions Sydney Kings do battle in Wollongong.

"We are thrilled to be back where we belong on the sports calendar and playing in spring and summer, through to March next year," NBL Commissioner Jeremy Loeliger said.

"After two interrupted seasons, we are excited to provide fans with a full schedule so they can confidently plan for the year."

As previously announced, the Kings will play the first Christmas Day fixture, hosting Melbourne United, with matches also to be played on Christmas Eve, New Year's Eve, Boxing Day and New Year's Day.

The grand final rematch will be in Sydney on December 11.

Among other draw highlights the Breakers will face the JackJumpers at Spark Arena on October 7, playing their first home game in New Zealand in 489 days.

"The sacrifices the New Zealand Breakers have made, and what they've had to endure over the past two seasons is unprecedented and we are forever grateful," Loeliger said.

"We simply can't wait for them to be welcomed home in front of what is sure to be a raucous crowd in Auckland."

Playing 18 rounds over four months, the league is coming off one of its most successful years in recent history with total attendances up 17 per cent while average TV audience also grew by 12 per cent.

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