BBL Action comes to SBC.
The BBL Trophy and The BBL Cup are set to be drawn this week after what was a thrilling season in 2017-18. After Cheshire Phoenix claimed the only piece of silverware, The BBL Cup, away from dominant Leicester Riders, all bets are off for the upcoming season.
The BBL Trophy has been around for as long as the BBL itself has and comes with an insane 30+ year history. It is the most inclusive of the two as it allo ws for 4 non-BBL teams to enter the competition and favours no team on their final standings from the season before. However, dominant Leicester Riders have lifted the Trophy the past 3 seasons.
The twelve BBL along with the four non league teams make up the pool of 16 that compete in a straight knockout competition with all teams playing in the first round. Each round is a single-leg fixture with the Semi-Finals being held over two legs, with the finalists playing in Glasgow.
Scotland has a great tie with the BBL Trophy as the old Livingston team lifted the trophy in 1988 and finished runners up the following year. Scotland’s only (current) professional Basketball tea, Glasgow Rocks, also finished runners up in 2014. SBC side Sony Centre Fury has been apart of the competition many times and has produced a number of BBL players who have competed for the Trophy. But, the biggest tie Scotland has is the fact that the Final is held in The Emirates Arena year after year.
This year sees a new Scottish side take their shot at Trophy success. After claiming the league title last season, St Mirren will be included in the first round draw. St Mirren features two of Scotland’s historic Commonwealth Games squad in Chris Cleary and Nick Collins. Cleary has been apart of the Rocks previously giving him some BBL experience he can use to lead his side.
The BBL Cup is the newest of the two, coming into its 15th season, it has a relatively short history. Newcastle Eagles are the most winningest team in the Cup with 5 wins to their name, last winning in 2017 but Cheshire Phoenix claiming victory last season over Worcester Wolves.
A Scottish side has never won the Cup, but former Scottish Rocks now Glasgow Rocks have both finished runners up twice each. This will be the year The Rocks will be looking to make a good cup run after adding some new talent.
Rocks and the rest of the top four finishes from last season, Leicester Riders, London Lions and Newcastle Eagles, will all receive a first round bye. This leaves the other eight BBL Franchises to compete in the first round of the knockout.
The whole competition is win or go home, allowing for no “off nights”.
The draw will take place on Wednesday 31st August live on the BBL Facebook at 3:00pm and 3:30pm, hosted by renowned BBL Commentator Dan Routledge. Joining Routledge will be Sheffield Sharks Captain Mike Tuck and Leicester Riders’ Andy Thomson.
The Church of Hoops will be there to cover the Trophy Final and most games, watch this space!
Image credit: BBL.org