Mike Helms of the Singapore Slingers in 2007.
Mike Helms of the Singapore Slingers in 2007. Quinn Rooney

NBL exploring expansion into Philippines and China

BASKETBALL: It's been down this road before - unsuccessfully - but the NBL is reportedly exploring expansion back into Asia.

After the Singapore Slingers failed to make an impact in the domestic basketball competition between 2006 and 2008, the NBL is now considering welcoming teams from Asian basketball heavyweights the Philippines and China, according to News Corp.

NBL general manager Jeremy Loeliger said discussions were "very well advanced” to expand the league as soon as next season.

"Commercially and logistically, I am very confident we could make it work,” Loeliger told News Corp.

The Slingers were the first and only Asian team to play in the NBL, but they withdrew from the competition after two years, with spiralling travel costs a major factor. The franchise had paid for its own travel expenses.

Loeliger said another Asian expansion attempt would require careful consideration.

"We need to jump through a certain number of procedural hoops to make sure we do it in a way that everyone is happy with ... come to a definitive view of what that team might look like, how it would be owned, where it would be based,” he said.


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