The fixtures for the 2009/10 BBL Championship season have been announced, along with the draw for the BBL Cup and the BBL Trophy.
The new campaign opens with a bang as the reigning League, Trophy and Playoff champions, the Newcastle Eagles, host the BiG Storage Cheshire Jets, at the MetroRadio Arena on Friday 25th September.
The opening weekend also sees the Jelson Homes DMU Leicester Riders take on the Sheffield Sharks in a rerun of the thrilling playoff quarter final match up from last season and the Eagles travel north of the border on Sunday to face the Scottish Rocks in one of the hottest rivalries in British Basketball.
BBL Cup holders Everton Tigers open their campaign on the second weekend of the season when they play host to the Airwaves Plymouth Raiders – the team they convincingly beat to secure their Cup success last season. The BBL's newest club, Essex Pirates, also start their season on the second weekend with a visit from PAWS London Capital.
The first-round games in the BBL Cup will be played on or around the weekend of 18 / 19 October, with the pre-drawn fixture tree providing a draw as follows:
Game 1 Scottish Rocks v BiG Storage Cheshire Jets
Game 2 Airwaves Plymouth Raiders v PAWS London Capital
Game 3 Marshall MK Lions v Guildford Heat
Game 4 Essex Pirates v Worcester Wolves
Game 5 Worthing Thunder v Sheffield Sharks
(the top 3 clubs in the BBL Championship last season receive a bye to the Quarter Final round)
Game 1 Winners v Newcastle Eagles
Game 2 Winners v Game 3 Winners
Jelson Homes DMU Leicester Riders v Game 4
Winners Game 5 Winners v Everton Tigers
The BBL Trophy, which incorporates the top 3 EBL Clubs from last season, now also takes the form of a straight knockout competition with a pre-drawn fixture tree providing a draw as follows
Game 1 Jelson Homes DMU Leicester Riders v Guildford Heat
Game 2 London Leopards (EBL) v BiG Storage Cheshire Jets
Game 3 Marshall MK Lions v Essex Pirates
Game 4 Airwaves Plymouth Raiders v Worcester Wolves
Game 5 Scottish Rocks v Sheffield Sharks
Game 6 PAWS London Capital v Everton Tigers
Game 7 Manchester Magic (EBL) v Worthing Thunder
Game 8 Reading Rockets (EBL) v Newcastle Eagles
Game 1 Winners v Game 2 Winners
Game 3 Winners v Game 4 Winners
Game 5 Winners v Game 6 Winners
Game 7 Winners v Game 8 Winners
The BBL's three showpiece events of the season are to be held on the following dates:
BBL Cup Final – Sunday January 17th 2010
BBL Trophy Final – Sunday March 21st 2010
BBL Playoff Final – Saturday 8th May 2010