After a narrow 96-98 loss in last year's Sal's NBL grand final, the Wellington Saints are set on redemption and according to the league's nine head coaches it will be the Saints as the most likely team to make it through to this year's championship decider.
2018 champs Southland Sharks also figured highly when the coaches were asked to name the team most likely to make it to the big dance, while the Taylor Hawks also picked up a mention and could loom as this season's surprise packet.
When asked to predict the teams that will make it through to July's Final 4, once again the Saints and Sharks figured highly across all coaches, while newcomers the Southern Huskies found plenty of admirers ahead of their first season in the league. Not to be forgotten, the Nelson Giants, Taylor Hawks and Canterbury Rams were also mentioned.
The coaches were also asked who they thought could take home this season's top individual award, the TAB MVP, and though there was a sprinkling of names thrown into the mix, the only players with multiple votes were Mitch McCarron (Sharks) and Cam Gliddon (Rams).
ACCORDING TO THE COACHES
The team most likely to make the Grand Final?
The teams most likely to make the Final 4?
Wellington Saints, Southland Sharks, Southern Huskies, Taylor Hawks, Nelson Giants, Canterbury Rams
The player most likely to win the TAB MVP?
Mitch McCarron (Sharks) and Cam Gliddon (Rams) - only players with multiple votes