The Southern Huskies had been advised to book accommodation smartly in Napier so that they wouldn't be left stranded during the long Easter weekend, according to Hawke's Bay basketball franchise board chairman Keith Price.
"That's news to me - that they are leaving [straight] after the game tomorrow night so that's the first I've heard of this," said Price before the Tasmanian basketball franchise team tip off at the Pettigrew-Green Arena, Taradale, at 3pm tomorrow.
He said when a Huskies representative had visited the city almost two months ago their Bay counterparts had informed them of the need to act in haste so as not to be left out in the cold during the holiday rush.
"We told them that our sponsors, Kennedy Park [Holiday Inn], was full so my wife, Amy, gave them a whole lot of places to call," he said, revealing at that time accommodation was available in Napier.
The newcomers in the National Basketball League (NBL) block will have clocked a mind-boggling 135 hours of travel with their flight touching down at 9.15pm on Monday at Hobart again, after they end their opening stint against the Taylor Corporation-sponsored Hawks in round two of the NBL tomorrow.
The Huskies, touted as the first Aussie team to play in the NBL, will have spent almost six days on the road after they took off on their flight at 6am from Hobart on Wednesday, arriving in Auckland, via Melbourne, to catch an 8.25pm flight to Palmerston North, assuming there were no delays along the way.
Huskies coach Anthony Stewart said in a television interview last night, before they lost 87-60 to the Wellington Saints in the capital city, the Huskies had no choice but to pile into their mini buses after the game against the Hawks to drive back to their Wellington lodgings because they could not find accommodation here. The Australians should reach their Wellington destination around 9.30pm tomorrow, assuming they leave the PG Arena around 5.30pm.
Today the Huskies were scheduled to hop back into their shuttles in Wellington to re-check in to their Palmerston North hotel to rest their weary bodies. They had pipped the Manawatu Jets 100-99 in their opening NBL leg of the double header on Thursday night.
Stewart, whose franchise has ambitions to compete in the Australian National Basketball League (ANBL), was responding to how his troops were coping with three games in the space of four days in their NBL debut.
"We've helped them as much as we could but they had left it quite late," said Price, a Napier City councillor, who was watching his son play basketball in an age-group tournament in Tauranga this weekend.
Price says the Bay franchise is in the dark as to when their Tasmanian counterparts had started looking for accommodation here.
"You know, Napier over Easter - you can't leave it until the last minute so we're pretty happy we'd helped them with accommodation, as I said, almost a couple of months ago."
He suspects as the Huskies are a new team in the NZ NBL and little things, such as the reaction time to securing accommodation, had slipped by them.
Price says, in keeping with NBL etiquette, the Hawks franchise tends to book its own accommodation when competing around the country.
"When we go there [Hobart] they have a hotel that we're booked into because they'll pay us a night's accommodation because the deal is they are paying for our costs, whereas in New Zealand we all pay our own travel costs," he says, adding Hawks' sponsors are given first priority.