Basketball: New Zealand National Basketball League tips off with clash of titans

The New Zealand NBL tips off in Dunedin on Saturday with a showdown that's being billed as the clash of the champions.

Defending champions Otago Nuggets are facing 2019 winners Wellington Saints, who weren't part of last year's competition.

The game holds extra significance for the hosts. It's almost 2,500 days since the Otago Nuggets last played in Dunedin.

For centre Sam Timmins, it's a homecoming he's been hanging out for.

"Mate, it's indescribable," he says. "To be playing for home, that's kind of what everyone dreams about.. to play for their home city."

Timmins was with the Nuggets during their last full season in 2014 and cut short a recent contract in Estonia to return to the court with his beloved hometown team.

"That's honestly the best part about it... these boys I played with my age-group teams."

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