Years ago

NBL eyes expansion into Asia

NBL eyes expansion into Asia as game continues to grow

"MORE games, a longer season and teams in two Asian countries within the next two years are on the NBL agenda as league officials look to capitalise on the game's growing momentum.
Those plans are only getting bigger and could include teams based in Manila, in the Philippines, and Shanghai, in China sooner rather than later, with more games as a result."

Full article:

Topic #40412 | Report this topic

Years ago

This is a positive. Like in A-League/NRL, we have teams in our Aussie comp and that has been a success. Both the Wellington Phoenix and the Warriors have been a success for the comp.
And with NZ Breakers to. Wer'e in reality part of Asia now anyway(Asia-pacific). The continent of Australasia is meaningless now, as the world gets smaller and more global. We play in Asia cup for soccer. So this should work well. They probably will bring in an Asian rule into NBL where unlimited Chinese or Phillipino players can play in NBL and not be classified as import, like the kiwi rule we got now.
Super rugby survives and thrives, it's massively popular with Aussie fans watching games in South Africa, and is even further, so if rugby does it so should basketball. You'd play your away games 2 a year in Asia you'd do it in 2-legs e.g. Monday night in Manilla then Saturday night in Shanghai.

And when they fly over they would play in like 5-block away games, played over like 15 days.

Reply #611711 | Report this post

Years ago


Coinciding with new FIBa Asian region which includes Oceania
This would be good...

Reply #611712 | Report this post

Years ago

Same ol, same ol

Reply #611713 | Report this post

Years ago

It would require a lot of hard work to make it a reality but the reward would be well worth it. I'm not familiar with the talent level of Philippines, Japan or Korea leagues, and judging from that two Chinese team participating in the pre-season, would they be able to field competitive sides?

Oh what about the travel costs as well? Flying to Japan or Korea would be real costly wouldn't it?

Reply #611715 | Report this post

Hardwood Hero  
Years ago

Remember the Singapore Slingers ??? They flopped, funny thing was they where sponsored by an airline but had to pay for their flights from what I was told.

Reply #611718 | Report this post

Years ago

Oh yeah the Slingers! Was that Bob Turner that tried to make that work?

Reply #611721 | Report this post

Years ago

How do the seasons "align" so to speak? i.e. is the NBL on at the same time as their domestic leagues? CBA, KBL, PBA etc If so, won't that make it hard?

Reply #611729 | Report this post

Years ago

I'm not sure a "slightly" international league can work.

It's not even comparable with Rugby. Super Rugby has 3 strong Rugby nations with (almost) equal representation and now a few smaller nations adding a side. International travel has been part of that brand's gig since day 1.

The New Zealand experiment has worked because they are close, have a very similar market and similar talent per capita. Countries like China and the Phillipines are different in every regard and are further trips (much so in some caees).

Get the game right in Australia first. A strong national league is far more exciting than a semi international league.

Reply #611739 | Report this post

Years ago

I agree with @Cram. The NBL is only just starting to recover from several years of decrepitude. It would be a huge financial hurdle to build new teams in Asia, and I just don't see where the money is going to come from to allow Aussie teams to travel such long distances for games.

If the NBL can grow its financial base here, first, then add very wealthy teams in Asia gradually, it might work.

Reply #611741 | Report this post

Years ago

I don't think they'll do it if it's a financial hurdle, only if it brings in revenue that isn't available in Australia.

They are having plenty of conversations with potential broadcasters to find out if that's the case, but only time will tell if this can work. As long as NBL clubs aren't out of pocket I think it's definitely worth trying, because the league can't survive on Australia revenue.

I know there is some opposition to this from powers that be, but at the end of the day money talks and those opposing don't offer much of that.

Reply #611743 | Report this post

Years ago

Hardwood Hero, you are wrong other than the fact that they folded.
They folded because the Singapore Govt withdrew their support

Reply #611745 | Report this post

Years ago

I feel like for this to work they need to have conferences and almost get a deal stuck with some of the Asian leagues to form an Asian equivalent of EuroLeague.

I would have the current 8 NBL teams in one conference, and then a 2nd Asian conference of 8 teams.

Conference teams 4 times - 28 games
Interconference 2 times - 16 games

Total - 44 games

Then 5 game (2-2-1) series for conference semis, conference final, then League final!

Reply #611746 | Report this post

Jack Toft  
Years ago

I've watched a couple of Slingers games post NBL and the standard of the Asian Basketball League is not that high.

Any team(s) from Asia would need to be considered carefully before admittance. Exhibition games tend to be good one offs to promote the game, but are usually the start of season, or end of season trips

Reply #611747 | Report this post

Years ago

No No No.Firstly i'm not so sure the top asian teams can compete with our weaker sides let alone our stronger ones.Secondly the cost with travel & accomadation will be to much for teams like illawarra/cairns.Illawarra has a tight bugdet as it is as this years roster wouldn't exceed 800k.The only thing nbl should expand is the playoff series like the old days when it was a five game series.

Reply #611750 | Report this post

Years ago

#611745 - They didn't fold, they withdrew to play in the ASEAN league. The Slinger crowds are much stronger today and they now have a more appropriate sized stadium.

The public justification at the time was the loss of Brisbane and Sydney that off-season saw travel costs per game rising beyond a level that was sustainable with their funding.

Reply #611751 | Report this post

Years ago

Why not have nbl title winners playing the chinese league title winners at the end of the nbl season as i think chinese league finishes way earlier than nbl with two or three games played in each country.

Reply #611752 | Report this post

Years ago

Asia there is definitely a substantial risk v reward situation.

> Asian teams are seriously weak
> Players (minus imports) aren't even close to the level of Australians - the few that are may be virtually impossible to draw away from their Asian league team, so can it be done?
> Influence on schedule: potential for jetlag, injury through fatigue, is there enough space on the calendar? Maybe 2 "asian trips" a year with some breathing space on either side will be the way to go for each Australian side to avoid constant travel. Australia is a bloody big country in itself let alone going beyond.

Potential massive revenue stream and increase in league interest through international rivalry. If it's done right, the Asian market might well make the NBL strong and viable.

Reply #611754 | Report this post

Dave Marshall  
Years ago

The Slingers weren't sponsored by an airline, which meant they had to pay their own airfares - as well as airfares for every other team in the league when they flew up to Singapore. That was one of the major reasons why they dropped out of the NBL in favour of the ASEAN BL (which, ironically, was partly founded by the chairman of AirAsia!).

Reply #611756 | Report this post

Years ago

I think the important thing to remember here is essentially it doesn't matter what the talent of the individual country is, rather how much money is there.
If anyone with an Australian/Asian passports can play as a local, and allow 3 imports, if there is enough cash floating around it could be a very high level continental championship, with the potential to be the 3rd best after the NBA and EuroLeague.

Also to remember is that say the Chinese have 4 teams, the talent level should go up as they will be concentrating the talent from a whole league.

I personally would like to see an expanded Seabl become the new domestic league, and the NBL go for broke on trying to turn into an Asian super league.

Reply #611759 | Report this post

Years ago

LOL all the players who complain about the travel to Perth are going to sit out "injured" when they have to fly to China.

Reply #611767 | Report this post

Years ago

Conferences are terrible. I wish the NBA got rid of them.

First, I think the NBL needs to add in a second NZ side and a second Victorian side to bring the league to 10 teams.

If the NBL decides to go into the Asian expansion route instead of an "Asian cup" type situation, then you'd want to add 2-4 Asian sides perhaps with Philippines, China and Japan entering sides.

Reply #611853 | Report this post

Years ago

I think a team based in Indonesia could work.
There's a probably a big enough population to find some local talent, and the TV audience is potentially huge. Not sure if they have a suitable stadium in Jakarta, but again the population is big enough to draw a decent crowd.
Although maybe you'd base it in Bali, due to the abundance of flights???

The problem with China and Philippines is that its just too bloody far. The travel would not only be ridiculously expensive, but it would kill the players.
For some reason people think Australia is close to Asia and therefore close to China. It's not.
It's like thinking Chile is close to New York, because the Americas meet in the middle.

Besides, why would China want to enter a team in our league?

Reply #611864 | Report this post

Years ago

Dazz said "There's a probably a big enough population to find some local talent" In Indonesia.

Reply #611869 | Report this post

Years ago

A left field idea, why not close down the NBL and have 4 aussie teams join the Chinese league 1st division and put 2 sides in the chinese 2nd division. All this talk of revenue and profit etc. Super rugby/Super basketball.
And put a Perth team in the Philippines comp. And Cairns could play in Asean league. And SEABL becomes our national comp(just a development comp like NZNBL comp which runs in the Aussie NBL offseason.

Auckland could put a team in China as well.

Reply #611875 | Report this post


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