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NBL rejects plan for second Melbourne team

THE NBL has rejected the proposal for a second Melbourne side leaving the league with just one Victorian team for the foreseeable future.

The league put out a press release on Thursday night making the announcement.

A group of business people and basketball supporters had gained the support of several powerful south-east Melbourne basketball associations and were ready to form a team based out of a State Basketball Centre in Wantirna South.

The group had a memorandum of understanding with Basketball Australia as the preferred second group to form a second Melbourne NBL side and had worked hard to gain more sponsors and financial support in the hope of forming a side in the 2013-2014 season.

But after more than a year of attempting to prove their financial backing, a Basketball Australia sub committee recommended the bid be rejected.

Basketball Australia chair Scott Derwin said expansion was welcomed by the NBL but only if the viability of a team could be proven.

“While the proposal contained encouraging aspects – such as a strong community model – the BA Board could not ultimately be confident that the club had sufficient financial arrangements in place to ensure its medium to long term sustainability,” he said in a statement.

“Ultimately, any expansion of the NBL needs to be balanced against the future viability and integrity of the league as a whole.”

The NBL did not say if it would give the group another chance to improve its bid.