Basketball: Auckland withdraw from 2013 NBL

The Auckland Pirates will not defend their National Basketball League title next season, believing the financial situation in the competition to be untenable.

Basketball Auckland undertook a thorough review of the on and off-court operation of the Pirates and found the financial model, in particular, to be unsustainable in the short term.

While the players, coaching staff, and supporters have every reason to be disappointed with the decision to withdraw the Pirates, BA chairman Chris Ford said it had been made in the best interests of basketball in the region.

"The NBL remains New Zealand's premier domestic basketball competition and Auckland teams have a great history of success over the years," Ford said. "While it's disappointing not to have the Pirates in the league next season, the BA board is committed to working with its partners to find a workable solution for future years."

The Pirates' withdrawal leaves some prominent players in this country without a team, including the Breakers' Alex Pledger and Dillon Boucher.

Chairman of the NBL Sam Rossiter-Stead said the absence of the Pirates was obviously disappointing for the league.

"The NBL board will continue working to ensure that the league has full representation from the greater Auckland region."

Basketball Auckland remained hopeful, with a strategic approach to development of the game in Auckland, the Pirates could return to the NBL at a later date. In the meantime, the Pirates' programme will continue to operate locally with a focus on player development.

- APNZ

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