Shane Heal, centre, poses for a photograph at the launch of the new National Basketball League (NBL) team the Southern Dragons
Shane Heal, centre, poses for a photograph at the launch of the new National Basketball League (NBL) team the Southern Dragons

Heal to lead Dragons in Blitz



THE Philips Championships newest teams, the Singapore Slingers and South Dragons, will be on show in the opening round of the 2006 Philips Championship National Basketball League (NBL) Pre-Season Blitz.

The Blitz, which is the official pre-season tournament of the Philips Championship, will be held in Coffs Harbour from September 8-10 and will feature all 12 NBL teams including the Dragons and Slingers, who are on show for the first time.

The Dragons will take on the West Sydney Razorbacks on Friday evening and with Shane Heal as captain and former NBA star Mark Price as coach, the Dragons are shaping as one of the early tournament favourites.

The Singapore Slingers will take to the court shortly after the Dragons when they square off against a revamped Townsville Crocodiles squad.

The Slingers became the first Asian based franchise to join the league earlier this year and will be out to impress under the guidance of coach Gordie McLeod.

Another highlight of the Blitz pool matches will be the clash of last season's champions, the Melbourne Tigers, against a new look Adelaide 36ers at 6pm Friday.

Under the tournament schedule, Pool A consists of the Melbourne Tigers, Perth Wildcats, Adelaide 36ers, South Dragons, Brisbane Bullets and West Sydney Razorbacks. Pool B will feature the Sydney Kings, Wollongong Hawks, Cairns Taipans, Singapore Slingers, New Zealand Breakers and Townsville Crocodiles.

The Blitz will be held at Sportz Central, 74A Bray Street, Coffs Harbour.

Tickets for the event are available from Coffs Harbour City Council's Sports Unit during business hours (8.30am-5pm) by calling (02) 6648 4950 or in person at the Sports Unit Office which is located at 169 Rose Avenue, Coffs Harbour. Alternatively, cash purchases can be made at Sportz Central (between 8.30am-5pm).

Ticket can be purchased for as little as $22 giving fans the opportunity to attend all round games including semi-finals.



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