The reborn Australia National Basketball League (NBL) could be playing regular season games and Euroleague-like tournaments in China within five years, according to NBL Executive Director Larry Kestelman.
Kestelman recently travelled to Asia to unveil his plans for expansion, which involve a close partnership between the NBL and the best leagues in Asia.
An Asian top-tier tournament involving NBL clubs, similar to the Euroleague, has been mooted, along with pre-season tournaments in China, the world’s fastest-growing basketball nation.
Part of the high-level talks also included taking some NBL games to China and having teams from the Philippines travel to Australia to play NBL teams during the regular season.
“We spoke about our vision, how we can all work closer as a group and how we can co-operate between the different countries,” Kestelman said. “And that means tournaments, events and competitions, the same as what Europe does.”
“I think the standard of our league is as good, if not better, than anything else in our region, but we know the population and the wealth are potentially greater in other countries,” Kestelman said.
“So we need to match those two things and work much closer together. I will say that both the Philippines and China are open to my idea and vision.”
Proofread by John Devlin