<
>

South East Melbourne Phoenix sign two-time NBL champion Reuben Te Rangi

play
Tasmania to return to NBL in 2021 (1:17)

The NBL has announced that Tasmania has been granted the NBL's 10th team, returning to the national competition. (1:17)

Melbourne United veteran David Barlow will return to the club this season after signing a one-year deal.

Barlow will begin his sixth straight season with United when the NBL tips off later in the year, his retention lauded by coach Dean Vickerman.

"I am really excited that Barlow will be coming back." Vickerman said.

"His commitment not only to this team, but to this club, is really admirable. I doubt there would be a professional athlete out there that would be more focused and dedicated to continual improvement in order to achieve success than David Barlow."

"He brings so much experience and knowledge to our team. Couple that with his ability at both ends of the basketball court; it means that this signing really is a big one for us."

Barlow said he was excited by the roster United were building and that he was thankful he could continued to play in his home city.

"The roster the club is putting together this season is going to be an interesting one. I think we'll really have the potential for success this season," Barlow said.

"Players like Jack (White) and Yudai (Baba) will add some extra depth and versatility to our group. Together with the guys we have returning, we'll certainly be right up there.

"I'm stoked to be coming back. Melbourne is my home. I can't wait to get back out on the floor in front of 10,000 fans at Melbourne United Arena."

Earlier Wednesday, two-time NBL champion Reuben Te Rangi signed with South East Melbourne Phoenix on a two-year deal as part of free agency.

The New Zealand Tall Black joins the Phoenix after four years at Brisbane, which saw him named NBL's Most Improved Player and Sixth Man of the Year after an impressive 2018/19 season.

The 25-year-old began his career in 2012 with the New Zealand Breakers, where he won two titles, before he made the move across to the Bullets in 2016.

Alongside his NBL accolades, Te Rangi also lays claim to a bronze medal from the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

"I'm really excited. I can't wait to get there and get underway with the team. It's an awesome opportunity and I'm excited to be coming," Te Rangi said.

"Knowing a bit of the coaching staff and some of the players was a big factor. Talking closely with Juddy (Phoenix and Tall Blacks assistant coach Judd Flavell), Adam Gibson and my family, they all thought it was the best fit for me."

Capable of playing multiple wing positions and a strong defender, Te Rangi is a major signing for the Phoenix and head coach Simon Mitchell believes he fills the gaps within the club. "We've been trying to identify players with length and athleticism and Reuben fits the bill," Mitchell said.

"At 25 years old, he's just approaching his peak as a basketball player and I feel like we're going to be the beneficiary of that. As far as toughness, knowing game plans and all the little things that often go unseen out on the floor, Reuben's highly recommended in those areas.

"We noticed the role he plays with the Tall Blacks and we'll try to expand that role for him and give him something similar with the Phoenix." Te Rangi is currently competing in New Zealand and will join the Pheonix's pre-season in coming months.