THE Bendigo Braves will be pitted against arch-rivals Ballarat in their opening game of the 2024 NBL1 south season. Bendigo's men's and women's teams will travel to Ballarat's Selkirk Stadium for their season-opener on Wednesday, April 3. The trip to Ballarat is among three away games the Braves will play in their first four matches of the season. The Bendigo-Ballarat match-up is part of the season-opening rivalry round for the NBL1. Bendigo's first home game of the season will be on Saturday, April 6 against Waverley. For the Braves women the game against Waverley will be a grand final re-match. The Braves defeated Waverley 83-78 in last season's NBL1 south women's grand final, before going on to claim the NBL1 national championship. The Braves' women not only enter 2024 as the NBL1's reigning national women's champions, but coming off an undefeated season after going 28-0 this year. The Braves' women will again be coached by Mark Alabakov and feature reigning NBL1 south MVP Meg McKay. The Braves' men, who will again be coached by Steve Black, will be striving for a return to the finals after finishing 13th this year with a 10-12 record. Both the men and women will play 22 regular season games next year - 11 home and 11 away. Bendigo's fixture includes seven weekend double-headers, including three in May - May 4-5, 18-19 and 25-26. Bendigo's breakdown of 22 games is one on a Wednesday night, three on Fridays, 12 on Saturdays and six on Sundays. Wednesday, April v Ballarat Miners away women: 6pm. men: 8pm. Saturday, April 6 v Waverley Falcons home women: 5.30pm. men: 7.30pm. Friday, April 12 v Geelong United away women: 6pm. men: 8pm. Sunday, April 14 v Casey Cavaliers away women: 1pm. men: 3pm. Sunday, April 21 v Nunawading Spectres home women: noon. men: 2pm. Saturday, April 27 v Sandringham Sabres home women: 5pm. men: 7pm. Sunday, April 28 v Ringwood Hawks home women: noon. men: 2pm. Saturday, May 4 v Waverley Falcons away women: 12.30pm. men: 2.30pm. Sunday, May 5 v Mount Gambier Pioneers home women: 1.30pm. men: 3.30pm. Saturday, May 11 v Frankston Blues home women: 5pm. men: 7pm. Saturday, May 18 v Casey Cavaliers home women: 5pm. men: 7pm. Sunday, May 19 v Dandenong Rangers away women: noon. men: 2pm. Saturday, May 25 v Diamond Valley Eagles home women: 5pm. men: 7pm. Sunday, May 26 v Sandringham Sabres away women: noon. men: 2pm. Saturday, June 1 v Ballarat Miners home women: 5pm. men: 7pm. Saturday, June 15 v Knox Raiders away women: 6pm. men: 8pm. Saturday, June 22 v Keilor Thunder home women: 5pm. men: 7pm. Friday, June 28 v Melbourne Tigers away women: 6.30pm. men: 8.30pm. Saturday, June 29 v Eltham Wildcats home women: 5pm. men: 7pm. Friday, July 5 v Hobart Chargers away women: 6pm. men: 8pm. Saturday, July 6 v NW Tasmania (m) v Launceston (w) away women: 6pm. men: 7pm. Saturday, July 13 v Kilsyth Cobras away women: 5.30pm. men: 7.30pm.