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Two of the rival bids to Otago's have been confirmed by the National Basketball League.
Franchises from Franklin Basketball and Canberra are two of the five entities joining Otago in seeking entry to next year's competition.
The league, which has nine teams, is looking to grow to from 10 to 12 teams.
It asked for expressions of interest and from that six franchises were invited to make formal bids.
Franklin Basketball is based south of Auckland and was set up in 2009 in response to a lack of basketball opportunity in its region.
It has set up an NBL Facebook page which has more than 400 likes and is running a team naming and mascot contest.
NBL general manager Justin Nelson had previously confirmed two other North Island entities have also been invited to bid.
The Canberra outfit is one of two potential Australian teams. If successful, it would join the Tasmanian-based Southern Huskies, who entered the league this year.
Otago is seeking re-entry to the league for the first time since the Nuggets withdrew in 2014.
A formal bid must be submitted by the end of the month to make the cut-off for 2020.
Sponsorship remains the biggest barrier. The franchise group is looking for 35-50 founding members to contribute $1000 each as a start-up fund.
That would be used to employ someone to find an additional amount from $150,000 to $165,000.
To go ahead with the bid for this year those funds need to be found by the end of the month.
If not secured in time, Otago will work towards making a bid next year for the 2021 league.