Launceston could well be the home of both men’s and women’s programs following the decision of Basketball Australia to wipe its hands of involvement in the SEABL.
Basketball Tasmania were forced to make assurances on Thursday to strengthen the future of its member clubs beyond any 2019 league.
Under further restructuring, Launceston Tornadoes may be in a position to join North-West Thunder towards affiliating another team in a remodelled competition to be based out of Victoria.
“We’ve talked about the possibility that it could now be a cheaper model for our teams to play in,” Basketball Tasmania chief executive Chris McCoy said on Friday.
“Consequently, we could explore of having three men’s and three women’s teams.
“So that could possibly be a men’s and women’s from Launceston and a men’s and women’s from the North-West in addition to Hobart.
“That’s still down the track and we need to work through that, but that’s a possibility.”
Basketball Australia still plans to run the WNBL, but it already has handed the NBL operations back to the clubs.
McCoy was still in the dark over next year’s competition of where all three Tasmanian clubs would enter.
“The SEABL is still in discussions of having a farewell year,” McCoy said. “It wasn’t the intention of Basketball Australia to do that, but we’re in discussions about that, so it’s not 100 percent ruled out.
“I think it’s quite unlikely.”
The preferred long-term model is for a new “premier league” that would sit above the Big V championship and exclude SEABL sides in ACT, Sydney and Mt Gambier.
Basketball Australia also has a vision to turn back the clock to restage the one-time ABA national championships to involve leading teams from all state competitions at the end of the year.
Greater certainty should be known within two weeks.
“It’s a good chance to have these discussions and align further,” McCoy said. “So it’s certainly a shock right now and we’re in a bit of limbo.”
Tornadoes chair Janie Finlay said the club was far from perturbed by Basketball Australia’s annoucement.
This comes after Basketball Australia counterpart Ned Coten had moved to ensure Tasmanian clubs a “guaranteed” place next year with or without the SEABL that has existed since 1981.
“Change sometimes for people is scary, but for us it’s a great opportunity and we’re excited what this means,” Finlay said.
She added the club would embrace whatever proposal would best benefit the Torns.
“We’re not making any assumptions about what the structure of the league will be going forward, but what we know there is a commitment to make sure that in Australia in winter there is a premier league and that we are going to be part of it,” Finlay said.
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