THE Country Basketball League 2017/2018 season schedule has officially been released.
Round 1 will tip off for most teams on the 14 October, however the inaugural match of the season will be held Saturday 7 October with Bairnsdale hosting Churchill in the Gippsland Conference.
The game will look to raise valuable funds to donate to the Beyond Blue Foundation to assist in the battle to fight depression and recognise Jamie Ball, a member of both Bairnsdale and Churchill CBL teams, who passed away in 2016.
Early season games will see Churchill Men host Warragul in a Gippsland Conference Championship final rematch to kick off Round 1 while Traralgon Women host Warragul in their Championship final rematch in Round 2.
Over in the South West, Colac will host Portland at the newly refurbished Bluewater Leisure Centre in Round 1 and this is sure to be an historical event. Reigning Mens Champions Mt Gambier will host Terang to open the season while the Ararat Redbacks will make their debut as they host the Geelong women.
In the newly formed North West Conference, the Mildura Heat will make their CBL debut against powerhouses Bendigo on the road in Round 1. Horsham will be on the road to take on Maryborough while the Kyneton Tigers will make their debut in Round 2.
Shepparton Gators will host Wodonga Wolves to open the North East Conference season as two North Eastern powerhouses collide in what promises to be two high quality games featuring strong programs. Myrtleford Saints will host the Wallan Panthers to open their CBL account and the reigning North East Mens Champions, Seymour will unveil their 2016/17 Championship banner when they host Wangaratta in Round Two.
Basketball Victoria Country CBL Coordinator Sammy Cartwright has worked with all associations to produce this seasons schedule.
“We are fortunate that we are able to work with a great band of volunteers within associations who really focus on what is best for the competition,” Cartwright said.
“The 17/18 season schedule is full of highlights and I am also interested in what the new teams will bring to the competition.
“Already we have seen at a junior level that Myrtleford and Kyneton can mix it with the best, Mildura have a great program and the Ararat Redbacks cannot be underestimated.”
The CBL 2017/2018 season will commence on 14 October and will conclude with finals in February 2018.
For the full schedule of every competing team, click here.