Sun, 31 May 2020

WELLINGTON, May 22 (Xinhua) -- The New Zealand National Basketball League (NBL) will kick off on June 23 with a player draft prior to the opening match, according to the International Basketball Federation (FIBA).

The 2020 season will feature seven teams including the Auckland Huskies, Canterbury Rams, Franklin Bulls, Manawatu Jets, Nelson Giants, Otago Nuggets, and Taranaki Mountainairs.

The teams will play 56 games in Auckland for six weeks to vie for the championship. The new "first-team-to-score-seven-points" concept will be introduced in the NBL's overtime periods.

In the face of the coronavirus pandemic, the league will hold a one-off draft which will take place on June 11, with 84 players drafted in the event.

"We knew we needed to adapt, show creativity, and came up with something new and exciting. We believe, together with our teams and players, we have developed a format that will work well in the current environment," NBL general manager Justin Nelson was quoted as saying.

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