Launceston teams prepare for the new State League basketball formats

Seasoned coach Darren Best has backed in his new Launceston Lightning side to excel under the latest State League format.

Best believes Launceston’s young legs are set to benefit from the new carnival-style season of seven matches played over two weekends on the North West and Hobart.

Launceston will host the State League finals series on November 18 and 19.

The Lightning open their campaign against Clarence United at Burnie followed by Somerset Heat at Somerset on Saturday, and Penguin Blues at Burnie on Sunday.

“We’re going to have to play very fast up and down the court and use our youthful speed along with some of the structures we’ve put in to have a good crack,” Best said.

“Sometimes you can’t really fast forward size and experience. We’ve set a goal to make it to the final-four weekend – if we can hit that, well anything is possible.”

Basketball Tasmania has been struggling to find the right fit for its State League. 

But the change from just all clubs to association teams has the Lightning moniker representing Launceston.

“Launceston has now formed as an association team where it’s possible to play with members from within our clubs,” Best said.

Best demanded only committed players amid luring association MVP Ty Stewart.

“When we sent the call out to play, one of the things that we stipulated that you would have to be committed to attend all the practices that we have planned,” he said.

“Everyone has brought in – that hasn’t been a problem.”

Launceston Japara tip-off in the women’s State League against Penguin Blues and Kingborough-Huon, both at Somerset on Saturday. The side will include Tornadoes SEABL players Ishoa Jade-Cook and Jayde Brazendale.