Benalla set to have men’s basketball team

By Georgia Smith

Benalla is set to have a men’s basketball team in the Country Basketball League North East region competition for the first time.

The Benalla Breakers will compete in the 14-round season against Shepparton, Wangaratta, Myrtleford, Wodonga, Seymour and Wallan, with the first round starting this weekend.

Benalla Basketball Association president Wally Armstrong has been named coach of the side, with assistant coaches Nich Spencer and Michael McBay also helping guiding the team.

Armstrong said the push to have a men’s team in the CBL was something that had been discussed for a number of years.

‘‘There has been a lot of hard work behind the scenes and all of the past committee members deserve recognition for where we are at now,’’ Armstrong said.

‘‘It’s about having that pathway established for local kids.

‘‘This will be a new grounding for us.’’

Benalla’s home games will be played at Benalla Indoor Recreation Centre, which in the past eight months has had a number of upgrades to rings, backboards and shot clocks, as well as a new scoreboard.

Games will be played Saturday nights and Sunday afternoons.

Armstrong said there would also be junior games played before the men took to the court and half-time entertainment for spectators.

‘‘It will be great to have local support at our games,’’ Armstrong said.

Benalla Basketball Association is also running a competition for locals to come up with a team mascot to be used throughout the season.

The creator of the mascot deemed to have the best design and meaning will win a basketball giveaway.

Benalla’s first game is against reigning champions Seymour Blasters this Saturday at Seymour Sports and Aquatic Centre at 7pm.