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NPBA preseason tips off on Monday

  • Giants player Gamaliel Rose goes up high for an alley-oop dunk in this file photo. The Giants will be one of the teams taking part in the New Providence Basketball Association preseason this year. The preseason will tip off on Monday. FILE

KELSIE JOHNSON
Guardian Sports Reporter
kelsie@nasguard.com

Published: Sep 26, 2013

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Coaches in the New Providence Basketball Association (NPBA) are now preparing their teams to play in the league’s first preseason, which will tip off on Monday.

Two weeks of play are designed to give the teams an opportunity to play their way into shape, said league president, Keith ‘Belsie’ Smith. More than 12 teams are scheduled to play in the preseason. All games will be played at the A.F. Adderley Gymnasium.

“We have been discussing hosting a preseason for a while, and finally, the executives and the coaches all believe that a preseason will provide more play for the teams,” said Smith. “It seems to be an agreeable situation. This is a great way for coaches to simulate players into their system, especially those players who have switched teams. In the past, it took players almost a full season, trying to adjust to the system that they are now playing in. The two weeks should make the transition easier. Teams can use these games to iron out the kinks and coaches can make final decisions.”

According to Smith, teams will be allowed to enter up to 15 players each, in the preseason, and an official roster of 12 players for regular season. Smith also said that players who are cut from teams would have an opportunity to join another squad, before the season starts. So far, 12 teams have verbally committed to playing in the league this year.

Smith said: “We have one or two teams entering for the first time, so this is a bold step for them to be playing in the preseason. I think it is important, especially for the teams which are playing in the league for the first time. In the past, players just joined teams and wanted to come out and play. They usually aren’t in any shape and it took them almost half of the season to play their way into season. At least these games will give coaches an opportunity to see what they are working with and need to work on.

“They will now have an opportunity to see which system can work and who can play in that rotation. Even though most of the players have been pretty active during the summer, it is still hard for the remaining team members to catch on. They all need to be on the same page, especially those teams which don’t like to practice and prepare for the season.”

Each team will play each other twice. The regular season will tip off during the first week in November. Smith said the executives are now going through the process of collecting registration fees and will confirm, closer to the league’s opener, exactly how many teams will compete this season.

As for the preseason, it will take the form of a double-elimination tournament. The first game will start at 7 p.m. on Monday, and will feature the Rockets going up against the Cleaners. The second game is expected to get underway at 8 p.m., and will feature the Giants going up against the Pros.

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