During 2021 we are celebrating the 40th season of the Sal's NBL. In this edition of 40 Years of Flashbacks we go back to 1989 and 1990 when the Canterbury Rams claimed back-to-back championships.
The Palmerston North Jets returned to the league in 1989 after claiming the Conference Basketball League (CBL) title in 1988. They replaced Ponsonby who were relegated to the CBL after their last place finish the previous year. Led by Willie Burton and Tyrone Brown, the Jets returned with a bang, finishing as regular season winners only to fall short in the semi-finals. The Canterbury Rams would go on to claim their second NBL title, defeating Auckland in the Grand Final.
10 teams contested the 1989 season (final standings)
Canterbury Rams (91) defeated Auckland (83) (Referees: John Burton & Keith Milligan)
40 Years of Flashbacks - presented by
The 1990 season was expanded to include twelve teams, with Hutt Valley, Otago and Waitakere joining the league. Waitemata was the team to drop out of the league. The Canterbury Rams went back-to-back for the first time, defeating the Nelson Giants in the first Grand Final that featured both South Island teams.
12 teams contested the 1990 season (final standings)
Canterbury Rams (76) defeated Nelson Giants (73) (Referees: John Burton & Robin Milligan)