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WNBL must make more noise

The Women's National Basketball League will adopt a best-of-three games final series next season.
WNBL must make more noise
Photo Source: AAP

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The new head of the WNBL insists the competition is getting better but concedes there has been a negative vibe around women's basketball in Australia.

While other women's sports power ahead in Australia the eight-team 2016-17 competition gets underway on Friday without a TV deal or a naming rights sponsor.

"We're very much aware of the fact that we; need to start making some noise," head of WNBL Sally Phillips told AAP.

"The WNBL has been pretty silent in the last few weeks with all the fantastic things happening in women's sport, so we've probably been a little bit forgotten

"The theme around the WNBL for a little while now has been quite negative,.

"We're well aware of the things we need to work on.

"TV is the big one at the moment and then the discussion around player contracts and minimum wage.

"The product and the game has not changed, if anything it continues to get better and better which is a real positive.

"We just need to be doing all we can to bang some drums and try and get ourselves talked about again

Phillips said Basketball Australia had had positive discussions with quite a few potential broadcasters but paying for production costs had been the major issue.

"The majority of sports in Australia other than the really big major ones they are all paying for production," Phillips said.

"The short answer is we're not on (TV) because we haven't got enough sponsorship at the moment to cover those production costs."

While the AFL women's competition, cricket's WBBL and revamped national netball league have grabbed plenty of headlines in recent months, Phillips refuses to feel threatened by other sports.

"I'm celebrating the fact that women's sport is being talked about, it's fantastic," Phillips said.

"I don't want to feel like we have to compete. I feel like we should be able to share the space, we're not all playing at the same time of the year."

While Australian rules has already attracted Opals Erin Phillips and Jessica Bibby, she was optimistic basketball's Olympic status would enable it to hang on to the majority of its stars.

Phillips tipped last season's grand finalists Townsville and Perth to be up there again, but said a case could be made for virtually every team.

"It could,potentially be one of the closest seasons that we've had in history," Phillips said.

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