Santa Cruz Warriors Look Forward to Preseason “Tri-Game”

Santa Cruz Warriors Head Coach, Casey Hill, postgame
Santa Cruz Warriors Head Coach, Casey Hill, postgame /

The Santa Cruz Warriors are excited to host the NBA D-League’s first three-way preseason game on Nov. 6, hoping to lay a solid foundation for the season to come.

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. — Before they officially tip off the NBA D-League regular season on Nov. 12 at Kaiser Permanente Arena against the Los Angeles D-Fenders, the Santa Cruz Warriors will host both the Reno Bighorns and the Salt Lake City Stars (f/k/a the Idaho Stampede) in what’s to be the first three-way game in professional basketball history.

Per the team’s official press release:

"“The exhibition game will consist of six 12-minute quarters with each team playing a total of two quarters apiece. There will be a 15 minute halftime/warmup between halves, with 10 minutes allotted for the sitting team and five additional minutes for opponents. The timeout limit for the first quarter of each half will be waived. Quarters one, three and five will be designated as “teaching quarters” in which the timeout limit will be removed.Santa Cruz will play the first two quarters of the preseason game against the Salt Lake City Stars. The Warriors will then face Reno in the third and fourth quarters. To close the tri-game, Reno and Salt Lake City will play each other in the fifth and sixth quarters.”"

Though it may seem strange and/or confusing at first to most pro basketball fans who are deeply rooted in the traditional four quarters, this tri-game should be enjoyed for what it is: a fun, new, innovative way for D-League teams to better ready themselves for the regular season without having to travel or spend too much.

After talking to new Santa Cruz Warriors assistant coach Ross McMains during Santa Cruz Warriors Media Day, it would seem the team is very much looking forward to participating in an NBA D-League first.

In fact, McMains — whose coaching resumé not only includes stints in the NBA and NBADL, but also extensive experience coaching overseas — felt that the whole concept of an three-way exhibition game could grow to be something adopted worldwide.

“Yeah I’m excited for it! What a cool thing — the tri-game…I think it’s pretty cool,” McMains said, smiling.

“What a cool D-League thing, to be able to play three teams. Hopefully that’s a precedent that takes off to the NBA and all over the world. And it started here in Santa Cruz! That’d be pretty cool.”

But fun and games aside, McMains made it clear how difficult it is preparing for a D-League season considering they only get one preseason game to test what they’ve been working on in training camp.

Next: Santa Cruz Warriors 2016 NBA D-League Draft Recap

McMains could not have overstated how important it was for the team to savor the opportunity to see themselves in action against competition outside of intersquad scrimmages — a sentiment shared by head coach Casey Hill.

“It’s gonna be good to get these players out there and try to execute what we’ve worked on all camp,” said McMains. “It’s all about worrying about us and how we execute our stuff. You wanna get film on what you’re doing and (whether) you’re doing it well enough.

“We gotta perfect what we do best, so this is a great opportunity for that.”

The Santa Cruz Warriors tri-game will take place on Sunday, Nov. 6 at 3 p.m. Pacific. For more information, be sure to visit the Santa Cruz Warriors homepage.