PERTH Wildcats coach Trevor Gleeson will have more time to plot their championship defence after the NBL moved the 2020-21 start date to mid-January.
Gleeson, who was born and raised in Warrnambool and started his coaching career in the south-west Victorian city, has led the Wildcats to five championships, including the past two.
He is one of two Warrnambool exports in Australia's national basketball competition.
Australian guard Nathan Sobey plays for Brisbane Bullets.
The NBL earlier this year forced its regular October tip-off to early December as it tried to navigate the coronavirus pandemic.
It announced on Monday a decision to move round one to mid-January, stating a desire to "play in front of as many fans as possible".
NBL owner and executive chairman Larry Kestelman said the league's nine clubs - Perth, Brisbane, Cairns Taipans, Melbourne United, South East Melbourne Phoenix, Sydney Kings, Adelaide 36ers and Hawks, formerly Illawarra, - backed the decision.
"The main reason for pushing the start of the season back to the new year is to give the clubs the best opportunity to play in front of as many fans as possible," he said.
"We will remain flexible about the exact start date and this will depend on a number of factors including travel and border restrictions, community transmission numbers and availability at venues across Australia and New Zealand.
"We intend to play a full season and, if needed, we will play in one or more hubs to achieve this.
"We are currently having positive discussions with a number of interested states about potential locations.
"As always, the health and safety of our players, staff and fans will be our number one priority. But we also remain focused on playing in front of fans as they are the lifeblood of the league."
The pandemic impacted the league's grand final series between Perth and Sydney in March.
The first game was played in front of fans before games two and three were played without spectators.
The final two games were abandoned following concerns from the Kings and the title awarded to the Wildcats who led the series 2-1.
The NBL will introduce a Tasmanian team for the 2021-22 season.