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Wildcats targeting Asia

Article image for Wildcats targeting Asia

PERTH Wildcats managing director Nick Marvin has forecast a move for the franchise into Asia.

The National Basketball League has had two of its eight teams go into voluntary administration in the past fortnight with the Wollongong Hawks and Townsville Crocs struggling to secure their futures.

Despite the financial issues of teams across the league, the Perth Wildcats recorded a $1 million profit last year.

The financial result came in their second year at Perth Arena where they recorded an average crowd of above 11,500 and a high water mark of 13,206.  

Marvin said on Sports Today he was eyeing a future for the Wildcats in Asia, but it would not come at the expense of their place in the NBL.

"It’s something we would like to do in the winter months while we play in the NBL in the summer months," Marvin said.

"We’ve played numerous games in Asia in my nine years and we will continue to grow that purely because it’s a lot closer for us to get to Singapore or the Philippines or Indonesia or Malaysia and play a basketball game than it is to get to Cairns or New Zealand.

"Things in Asia move really slowly. We think it’s a three or four year plan. In the short-term our intention is to play pre-season and post-season games with some of the Asian teams."

The ASEAN Basketball League currently runs July to November and has six teams representing Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Singapore and Thailand.

The competition is broadcast on Fox Sports Asia to a population of more than 600 million across the five nations while the NBL remains at risk of being without a host broadcaster next year after reaching the end of their current contract with Network Ten.

Australian basketball icon Andrew Gaze called on Tuesday for the league to shut down for a year to get the model right, but Marvin refuted the comments.

"The model is not broken in WA," Marvin said.

"We’ve had games that go up against the A-League, International One-Day cricket and the AFL and we’ve never had a problem getting people to fill that stadium.

"The model’s not broken, it’s just bad management in the front office and it’s across all sport."

With two of the three regional teams in voluntary administration Marvin hinted towards a future with single teams in each of the state capitals.

"It’s the reason why we privatised," he said.

"We did raise a lot of money for the league a year and a half ago when we privatised to get these things up and running, but 90 per cent of our time has been spent so far propping up the non-performing clubs.

"So this, while it looks terrible, is the first step in the NBL’s focus on the future and where we need to be strategically rather than worrying about the teams that aren’t performing in the league right now."