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NBL's ninth team to be the South East Melbourne Phoenix
Today, Jeremy Loeliger and Tommy Greer will announce that the ninth NBL team will be known as the South East Melbourne Phoenix.
While not yet officially announced, the name and logo were leaked on social media on Friday, with the website and Facebook addresses all but confirming the new moniker being the Phoenix.
The new club will be bankrolled by Swansea City co-owner Romie Chaudhari and operated by new general manager Tommy Greer, who says the new club is entering the league at the perfect time and location.
With the state government se to spend $126 million revamping the State Basketball Centre at Wantirna South, the new NBL team will adopt the primary colour of green with black accents as their club colours.
The choice of the "Phoenix" as the team's moniker is an interesting one, given that the Melbourne Phoenix used to be an Australian netball team that was replaced by the Melbourne Vixens, while the Wellington Phoenix compete in soccer's A-League. However it is expected that the reference pays homage to all those NBL teams that were once based in Melbourne's south-eastern corridor.
With the introduction of the Phoenix for the 2019/20 season, in an earlier interview, Greer spoke of his eagerness to introduce a Melbourne rivalry, hoping his side will create a healthy and competitive match up with Melbourne United.
“Classic Melbourne derbies have made up a big part of the history of the league so hopefully we can recapture that again with United,” Greer said.
“The work they have done since their rebrand has been phenomenal, and they deserve much praise. Them winning the championship was icing on the cake in a lot of ways. Seeing them fill out Melbourne Arena also shows it’s time to reignite a Melbourne-based rivalry.”
Deputy Victorian Premier James Merlino, will be joined by Loeliger and inaugural South East Melbourne General Manager Tommy Greer, along with representatives and players from local basketball associations for the announcement at 10:45am at the State Basketball Centre in Wantirna South.
More details to come.