With the National Basketball League confirming the season draw for the iiNet Championship, the Breakers can get to applying the finishing touches to what looms as an exciting and hugely competitive season.
The Gold Coast's withdrawal from the league has, if anything, made the competition for play off spots tougher, says Breakers General Manager Richard Clarke.
"The playing talent will now be condensed into 8 teams and we will play each other team 4 times, 2 at home and 2 on the road. What was already a very even spread of contenders will now become tougher and I'm sure lead to some great rivalries throughout the season."
The play off structure does not change, with the top four teams qualifying for the semi finals best of three series, with the top seeded team enjoying home advantage if required throughout the post season.
The Breakers will now open the season with a mouth watering repeat of last year's Grand Final against the Perth Wildcats at the North Shore Events Centre on October 5.
The home draw includes some notable features, including:
- 5 of 14 home games will be at Vector Arena this season.
- 8 Friday night games and 6 Thursday night games.
- The season tips off at the NSEC with a Grand Final rematch against Perth.
- The NBL Community Round features a Vector Arena home game on November 16 - the Breakers plan a very special night recognising some heroes of our community.
This season will also mark the 10th season in the league for the Breakers, and as part of the NBL Heritage Round in January, the team will be playing in the original uniforms from the 2003-4 season and recognising some of the key figures from the Club's history.
The Breakers pre-season is also locked in, with the Club taking games around New Zealand in a 3 game series against the visiting Wollongong Hawks in Christchurch (Sept 11), Dunedin (13) and Hamilton (15).
Ticket sales for all pre-season games are already strong, with all venues indicating high interest and strong ticket sales.
The pre-season tour will also include opportunities for the local communities to get close to the team, with practice sessions scheduled at local schools for the South Island games and an open training session in Timaru expected to see over 1,000 local juniors get the opportunity to see the Breakers in action.
"The plan to take pre-season games around the country to give more people the chance to experience the Breakers has really taken off - the interest in the South Island has been fantastic, and Hamilton again looks like being a really great event.
The New Zealand pre-season tour has definitely been a success for us, and something we will continue to develop in future seasons to give different parts of the country the chance to be involved."