Perennial heavyweights New Zealand and Perth are the favourites but all six of the other NBL teams believe they can win the title in 2012-13.
The league held its season launch in Melbourne yesterday before a three-day pre-season tournament tipped off at Dandenong.
New Zealand will be seeking a third straight championship, though Perth are favourites with bookmakers.
Despite sitting outside the top four in every betting market, the Wollongong Hawks like their chances.
Heading into last night’s hit-out against Adelaide, the Hawks had won seven of eight trial games, including two wins over New Zealand.
Wollongong centre Larry Davidson reckons his team will be better than most NBL followers expect.
‘‘We’re definitely going into the season with high hopes,’’ Davidson said.
‘‘It’s only pre-season, but when we went to New Zealand last week we got destroyed on the boards, turned it over a lot, but we still found a way to win.
‘‘It shows we can be really dangerous if we can clean those areas up.’’
The league has shrunk from last season’s nine teams after the collapse of the Gold Coast Blaze in July.
Wollongong only narrowly avoided the wooden spoon in 2011-12 but the arrival of imports Adris Deleon and Lance Hurdle has brought fresh optimism.
‘‘One of these eight teams is going to end the season holding the trophy and there’s nothing to say it can’t be us,’’ Davidson said.
‘‘No-one’s given me a reason yet why it can’t be and I’ve got a ton of reasons why it can be.’’
Ticketek is selling tickets to Wollongong’s season- opener at home against the Sydney Kings on October 5.