NBL Blitz hits Coffs
By BRAD GREENSHIELDS
BIG-time basketball comes to town this weekend as every team in the National Basketball League arrives in Coffs Harbour for the carnival of motion and excitement that is otherwise known as the NBL Blitz begins at Sportz Central Friday evening.
For many of the players, being in Coffs Harbour will be a first-time experience but for a former Ballina junior, Nathan Crosswell, this weekend's event is a bit of a homecoming.
"When the guys heard that we were playing the Blitz in Coffs Harbour, all the guys in the team got excited and said that 'We were going up 'Crossy's' way'" the Melbourne Tiger said.
"It's very exciting I think. It's not often that we get a chance to go to the regional areas.
"It's great for me as well as it will be good to play in front of family and friends who don't usually get to watch me play."
Crosswell has transferred over to the Tigers during the off-season after spending two seasons with the Cairns Taipans.
This move is a return to where Crosswell's NBL career started.
The Tigers are the defending NBL Blitz and Phillips Championship title holders but crossing over to the reigning champs hasn't created any extra pressure for the 27 year-old.
"I haven't felt it personally, obviously that's because it's my first year in the team but the guys are all keen to go back to back," he said.
"No Melbourne team has ever done that in the NBL and everyone's looking forward to the challenge.
"Personally I'm just happy to jump on board and help out the team as much as I can. As I said I haven't felt any pressure yet but the season starts in three weeks time, it might change then."
Crosswell has played in every pre-season Blitz since the concept's inception and he promises that fans who come to Sportz Central this weekend are in for some real entertainment.
"I've played it a few times and it's a very busy concept," the 190cm guard said.
"You only get to play half a game so you just go out there and play flat out.
"Over the last couple of years the matches have been really offensive with a lot of high scoring. For the people who are watching it's really exciting because they're seeing teams that are trying to outscore each other rather than a grinding, defensive type of game."
n There are still limited tickets available for this weekend's NBL Blitz. These can be purchased from Sportz Central on Bray Street.