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Blitz bitz and some WC and Asia Cup stuff

CHALLENGED to speak with their feet and show up for NBL Blitz games, Tasmanians used their heads to turn last week's annual preseason tournament for the Loggins-Bruton Cup into the most successful of all time!

At least, that's the opinion of NBL owner Larry Kestelman and with his stated plan to reinstate an NBL club presence in our favourite Apple Isle, Tasmanians statewide can take a bow.

“The success of the Blitz has reinforced our view that Tasmania deserves to have its own NBL team that would put it on the national and international stage," Kestelman said.

"We now look forward to continuing our negotiations to secure the Derwent Entertainment Centre so we can deliver Tasmania its own NBL team."

A crowd of 3,521 attended yesterday's Blitz finale in Hobart at Derwent Centre, bringing a total of 8,647 fans across the state attending four days of NBL games in five locations.

For the record, Brisbane Bullets took home the Loggins-Bruton Cup, South East Melbourne Phoenix's John Roberson claimed the Ray Borner MVP medal, Melbourne United's David Barlow won the 3-point shoot-out and the Phoenix had another winner with Terry Armstrong winning the Slam Dunk contest.

“This has been the biggest and best NBL Blitz ever with huge crowds and fantastic engagement right across Tasmania," Kestelman said.

“I want to thank the Tasmanian Government led by Premier Will Hodgman (pictured) for its support and we look forward to continuing to work with them to establish a permanent NBL presence in Tasmania.”

The NBL regular season tips off on Thursday-week with the first Victorian derby match, the "Throwdown" between Melbourne United and South East Melbourne Phoenix.

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BOOMERS star Patty Mills confirmed he was originally slated for the FIBA World Cup's All Star Five, then missed the cut, probably after Australia lost the Bronze Medal game.

Either that, or notoriously Euro-centric FIBA suddenly realised he was from Australia, not Austria.

In good news re our national programs, the Boomers now are ranked at #3 in the world behind the USA and Spain, where FIBA also has the Opals behind the USA and Spain.

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FINISHING with Silver behind Japan after a controversial ending to the FIBA Women's Asia Cup Final at their maiden appearance in 2017, the Opals look loaded for bear this time around.

The tournament tips off tomorrow in Bengaluru, India and runs until Sunday's Gold Medal final, all of the Opals' matches live on FOXSPORTS 507.

Importantly, Australian head coach Sandy Brondello will be at the helm in India, after leading the team to a Silver at the FIBA World Cup and to Gold at the Commonwealth Games.

Group A in India comprises Japan, Korea, Chinese Taipei and India.

Australia is joined in Group B by China, New Zealand and Philippines. Why our neighbouring Oceania Zone mates the Tall Ferns are in the Opals' group is a mystery. The Opals logged a couple of warm up wins over China last week.

Australia opens against the Philippines, who typically will be punching above their weight, Katie Ebzery and Sara Blicavs (below) the only Opals' returnees from the 2017 event.

“It’s just a valuable experience for us going into Asia Cup because every team is different," Brondello said. "Japan will be a little bit different too, so it’s about us being able to adapt on the fly,”

The Australian team is: Rebecca Allen (New York Liberty), Abby Bishop (JCU Townsville Fire), Sara Blicavs (Southside Flyers), Katie Ebzery (Perth Lynx), Darcee Garbin (JCU Townsville Fire), Cayla George (Deakin Melbourne Boomers), Ezi Magbegor (Deakin Melbourne Boomers), Leilani Mitchell (Phoenix Mercury/Southside Flyers), Lauren Nicholson (Adelaide Lightning), Jenna O’Hea (Southside Flyers), Nicole Seekamp (Adelaide Lightning), Stephanie Talbot (Minnesota Lynx/Adelaide Lightning). 


Tuesday, Sept 24 v Philippines – Tip-off at 5:45pm (AEST)

Wednesday, Sept 25 v New Zealand – Tip-off at 5:45pm (AEST)

Thursday, Sept 26 v China – Tip-off at 8:00pm (AEST)


Winner of group advances. 2nd and 3rd place teams to play on Friday, September 27.

Semi-final on Saturday, September 28.

Final on Sunday, September 29.

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Session 6 - Derwent Centre, Hobart:
(Louzada 29, Tate 15, Kickert 14, Lisch 12; Hunter 10 rebs; Moller, Ware, Louzada 3 assts) d PERTH WILDCATS 71 (Steindl 17, Hunt 15, Kay 10; Majok 12 rebs; Steindl 4 assts); MELBOURNE UNITED 108 (Prather 23, Barlow 20, Lual-Acuil 17, Long 13, Ili 10; Long 11 rebs; Ili 5 assts) d ILLAWARRA HAWKS 91 (Glover 17, Brooks 15, Dech 13, Coenraad 11, Froling 10; Coenraad 6 rebs; Naar 6 assts).
Session 5 – Derwent Centre, Hobart:
(Wesley 23, Adnam 17, Roberson, Madgen 16, Stephens 10; Madgen 9 rebs; Roberson 7 assts) d NEW ZEALAND BREAKERS 95 (Hampton 20, Hopson 18, Henry 16, Webster 12, Obekpa, Delany 10; Obekpa, Hampton 5 rebs; Hopson 4 assts).
Session 4 – Launceston:
(Deng 18, Noi 17, Newbill 12, Oliver 10; Noi, Deng 10 rebs; Djeric 6 assts) d NBL1 ALL STARS 68 (Turner 21, Swetalla 11, Barker, Doyle 10; Swetalla 10 rebs; Bezman, Hadziomerovic 3 assts); BRISBANE BULLETS 92 (Patterson 20, Hodgson 18, Sobey 16, Braun 13; Hodgson 7 rebs; Patterson 8 assts) d ADELAIDE 36ERS 85 (Taylor 23, Griffin 14, Johnson 11; Drmic 5 rebs; Moore 6 assts).
Session 3 – Devonport:
(Roberson 31, Wesley 20, Stephens 12; Trist, Pineau 6 rebs; Adnam, Roberson 4 assts) d SYDNEY KINGS 87 (Ware 19, Louzada 13, Tate 12, Newley 11; Tate 7 rebs; Bruce 4 assts).
Session 2 – Kingborough, Hobart:
(Blanchfield 23, Brooks 20, Ball 19, Coenraad 13, Boone 11, Grida 10; Ball 13 rebs; Ogilvy, Ball 7 assts) d PERTH WILDCATS 119 (Cotton 27, White 18, Kay, Steindl 15, Vague, Hunt 12, Wagstaff 11; Cotton 6 rebs; Cotton 8 assts) in overtime {108-108}; NEW ZEALAND BREAKERS 97 (Webster 24, Hopson 22, Henry 17, Hampton 11; Loe 7 rebs; Webster 5 assts) d MELBOURNE UNITED 76 (Long 24, Trimble 22; Long 8 rebs; Trimble 3 assts).
Session 1 – Ulverstone:
(Singler 19, Magnay 17, Hodgson 16, Harrison 12, Braun 11, Wigness, Te Rangi 10; Braun 8 rebs; Patterson 10 assts) d NBL1 ALL STARS 57 (Turner 14, Swetalla 13; Swetalla 7 rebs; Doyle 4 assts); CAIRNS TAIPANS 100 (Newbill 18, Oliver 14, Fisher 13, Jawai 12, Djeric 11, Noi 10; Jawai 7 rebs; Machado 7 assts) d ADELAIDE 36ERS 99 (Johnson 27, Moore, Froling 13, Taylor 12, Griffin 11; Froling 7 rebs; Taylor 4 assts).

Sep 23

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