NBL1 All-Stars player Igor Hadziomerovic says the team wants to prove the competition isn’t a “pushover league” at this year’s NBL Blitz.
The NBL1 All-Stars will face Brisbane Bullets and Cairns Taipans at the NBL Blitz in Tasmania this month, and Hadziomerovic says they aren’t going there to simply make up the numbers.
“The guys on the team, including myself, want to show what we can do at the NBL level,” Hadziomerovic said.
“We don’t want to back down and we know Brisbane and Cairns are two very good teams. I think if we give them a bit of a challenge and a proper good fight, we will show what the NBL1 is capable of and what kind of talent we have.
“At the end of the day, we want to represent the brand pretty well and show what this league is about. It’s not a pushover league.
“That’s the mindset we are going in with and we are excited about the challenge.”
Hadziomerovic has NBL experience, playing for Melbourne United during the 2015/16 season.
He still wants to get back to that level and believes playing for the NBL1 All-Stars at the Blitz provides the perfect platform for him to showcase his skills to NBL personnel.
“It’s very important to me,” Hadziomerovic said.
“I still want to show the NBL coaches and scouts that I can play at that level. Since my time at United I’ve worked on a few things, my shooting, decision making and defence.
“I want to show I’ve improved in certain areas that I might have not been as good at in previous years.
“I think once I take it out on the court, I’ll get to see some of the improvements, and I want to put my best foot forward at the end of the day.”
The NBL1 All-Stars bring a stacked roster into the NBL Blitz, including league MVP Demarcus Gatlin, Championship Game MVP Dain Swetalla and more.
The squad had their first match together last Saturday, losing to the Zhejiang Guangsha Lions, 105-81.
With limited time together to implement a specific playbook and framework, Hadziomerovic says the team is focused on simply leveraging the individual talent they have compiled.
“The coaches did a good job in the shoot-around going through a few plays where some guys have had a lot of success during the season,” he said.
“What we said was basically play a lot of defence, get pressure, get out and run. When we are in the half court sets, we want to play to guy’s strengths.
“If it’s getting Damon Bozeman or Deonte Burton in an on ball, if it’s posting up Dain, we are trying to play to our strengths.
“We are still feeling each other out and I think what we took away was once we play at a fast pace and get the ball through hands, we have a lot of talent, once we learn each other’s games a bit more, it will get better and better.”
The Blitz All-Stars next hit-out will be Thursday September 12 against the Shanxi Dragons.