Adelaide 36ers will fly directly to Perth from the NBL’s pre-season competition Tasmania to prepare for Friday night’s round one clash against the Wildcats after the WA border was closed to South Australia.
Premier Mark McGowan closed the border on Saturday, immediately posing problems for the NBL given they’d already changed the fixture in the lead-up to the season to combat COVID-19 restrictions.
But with Adelaide having spent two weeks in Tasmania, the league will get them into WA on Sunday night.
The 36ers beat Brisbane in Hobart on Sunday morning to win the Loggins-Bruton Cup as the NBL Blitz champions.
Adelaide were undefeated throughout the pre-season, and beat the Wildcats twice during that time.
Perth won two of their five games while fighting through the adversity of a host of key players being unavailable.
The Wildcats will receive an update on injured vice-captain Mitch Norton this week as they hope to get him back on court from a hyper extended knee as soon as possible.
Import Michael Frazier II (groin) and recruit Jack Purchase (hamstring) were both expected to be fit for tip-off. Todd Blanchfield (knee) and Corey Shervill (foot) face more time on the sidelines.
Perth have two games in the opening round, with the second clash against Cairns, but Queenslanders can still travel to WA.
That will also allow Brisbane to fly to Perth for round two. The Bullets will open the season in Tasmania and play at RAC Arena on both December 12 and 17.
Perth’s round three opponents, Tasmania JackJumpers, also have a clear path to WA with their opening matches in Hobart and Cairns.
The Wildcats will spend extended time interstate after Christmas as they wait for the border to open. Perth have been scheduled to play in Adelaide and Brisbane between December 28 and January 7 with the remaining fixture yet to be announced.