For the first time in almost two years, the Ice House will be alive with plenty of Pioneer passion once again this Saturday night.
It has been a battle, but the Castec Rural and One Forty One Mount Gambier Pioneers will finally begin their respective NBL1 South campaigns. It will certainly be a night not to miss with Mount Gambier’s only national team embarking on a new era with a home game against former SEABL rival Bendigo.
The men led by captain Tom Daly and coach Richard Hill have past history with the Braves, but would like to reverse a worrying trend. The Pioneers have lost their last three encounters with Bendigo, but there would be no better time than the season opener for a young and exciting group to hit back.
Since finishing second in the 2019 Basketball SA Premier League, the men have played six trial games and found their groove. Mount Gambier’s women’s team only has one season under its belt and a new-look team will hit the court against Bendigo for the first time.
Matt Sutton will call the shots from the sidelines, while Jasmin Howe will lead her troops into battle. After seven pre-season hit outs the Pioneers are ready to impress with a new style.
In the 623 days since the Pioneers last played at Bern Bruning Stadium not just the players have missed the atmosphere. The entire Limestone Coast community has been waiting for the Pioneers to get back on their home court and it will be an emotional and special night no matter the result.