The 2023-24 Bunbury Senior Basketball League tips off on Friday night with a record number of teams hitting the floor across both A and B-grade. Such is the demand for court space, games will be held at three venues — South West Sports Centre, Eaton Recreation Centre and Bunbury PCYC — in order to fulfil all fixtures. BSBL official Ebony Bilcich is also delighted for the players, who will be able to enjoy earlier tip offs between rounds 11 and 19. With no junior games during the school holidays, matches have been brought forward to 6pm and 7.30pm and will be held on Tuesday and Friday nights. “It’s always good playing the earlier games,” Bilcich, who also plays for Tornadoes Black in the A-grade women’s competition, said. “A lot of people would rather be in bed by 9pm given the opportunity. Hopefully in time, we can get additional courts and ease this.” A spike in playing numbers has also resulted in B-grade competitions for both men’s and women’s teams, which will be held on Monday and Thursday nights. Impressively, More Than Conquerors Basketball Club will field two women’s teams in just their second BSBL season. Several players attended the official BSBL media season launch on Tuesday at the South West Sports Centre and spoke about how they were feeling heading into Friday night: Cody Hill (Bulls Maroon): “We’ve kept the same core guys in the team, so everything will basically be the same, however there are a few younger guys.” Bree Chalk (Tornadoes Black women): “It’s good to be able to get back into the swing of things before NBL1 West pre-season starts, along with keeping fit and healthy.” Tyrell McKenzie-Roe (Conquerors): “It will be amazing to play with the guys again. We did really well last year — but I think this year, we’re expecting to go a bit further. “The atmosphere each Friday night is amazing, along with the people. There really is nothing like it.” Jacob Macleod-Paterson (Eaton): “I’m definitely looking forward to this year. Our team has been looking up, as we’ve had a few new players join. “That should help us out a little bit. I’m just keen to get out there and do what I do.” Round 1 BSBL fixtures (played Friday night at South West Sports Centre unless stated otherwise) A-grade men: 7.30pm Tornadoes Black v Tornadoes Red; 8.30pm Bulls Gold v Eaton Eagles (Eaton Recreation Centre); 9pm Conquerors v Bulls Maroon, Aces White v Aces Sky. A-grade women: 7.30pm Conquerors v Eaton Eagles, Aces Sky v Aces Navy; 9pm Tornadoes Black v Tornadoes Red.