Basketball: NZ Breakers to open season in January 17 against Perth Wildcats

The NZ Breakers will open their Australian National Basketball League season on Sunday, January 17th, in Perth against the Wildcats.

The ANBL has issued a revised two-round draw just four days before the season was due to commence.

The league says they also hope that the Breakers will play some games at home in Auckland this season.

COVID-19 outbreaks in New South Wales and Victoria have forced teams based in those states to scatter ahead of what should have been the season opener this weekend.

The Breakers were originally based in Melbourne, but relocated to Tasmania last week because of the outbreak in Victoria.

The 2020-21 season will tip-off on Friday, January 15 with a blockbuster double header to open the league's 43rd season.

Last season's finalists the Cairns Taipans will meet the new-look Hawks before reigning champions the Perth Wildcats taking on Melbourne United as they begin their campaign for a third consecutive title.

"I want to thank all of our clubs, players, officials and our fans for their patience and understanding as we have prepared for the season," NBL Owner and Executive Chairman Larry Kestelman says.

"We've always said this will be a season like no other and to expect the unexpected."

NBL Commissioner Jeremy Loeliger says he hopes the Breakers will be able to play at home at some point during the campaign.

"We will wait and see how things progress around the country over the coming weeks before we finalise the schedule for the following three rounds leading into the NBL Cup in the Melbourne NBL Hub," he says.

"These changes will give of our Australian based clubs the best opportunity to each play 14 home games across the season and be part of the NBL Cup in Melbourne starting on February 20, the biggest event we have ever staged with all nine teams playing 36 games across four weeks.

"We are also very hopeful of the New Zealand Breakers being able to play some home games in front of their fans in New Zealand later in the season.

"The New Zealand Breakers and South East Melbourne Phoenix are currently based in Hobart, the Sydney Kings and the Hawks are in Albury and Melbourne United is in Cairns. This ensures they can train and travel relatively freely and minimise any risk of further disruptions to the season schedule.

"We will continue to work closely with the clubs and be guided by the advice of the relevant health authorities and the safety of our players, staff, officials and the fans will be our number one priority."

The Breakers second game will be against Adelaide on January 20.


Round one: 

  • Friday, January 15: Taipans v Hawks, Wildcats v United
  • Saturday, January 16: 36ers v Phoenix, Bullets v Kings
  • Sunday, January 17: Taipans v Hawks, Wildcats v Breakers

Round two:

  • Wednesday, January 20: 36ers v Breakers
  • Thursday, January 21: Bullets v United
  • Friday, January 22: 36ers v Phoenix
  • Saturday, January 23: Taipans v Kings
  • Sunday, January 24: Breakers v Wildcats
  • Monday, January 25: Taipans v Phoenix
  • Tuesday, January 26: Bullets v Hawks