The 2016-17 season is almost upon us and gets underway with an action-packed weekend lineup. Check out week’s 1 preview below.
DBL Sharks Sheffield v Leicester Riders
Details: Friday 23 September, EIS Sheffield, 7:30pm – BBL Championship
Summary: From season finale to curtain raiser – the Sharks and Riders start off the new campaign having finished last season in spectacular style with their Molten BBL Play-Off Final showdown at The O2 Arena.
Last season: Sharks 1-2 Riders (2-1-4 all comps)
Worcester Wolves v Cheshire Phoenix
Details: Friday 23 September, University of Worcester Arena, 7:30pm – BBL Championship
Summary: Cheshire have enjoyed recent success over Paul James’ side and will be hoping that continues on opening night. Both teams have brought in players that have previous BBL experience and will be raring to go.
Last season: Wolves 0-3 Phoenix
Surrey Scorchers v London Lions
Details: Saturday 24 September, Surrey Sports Park, 7pm – BBL Championship
Summary: The Scorchers were rooted to the bottom of the league table last season and have a largely new-look roster. Former league MVP, Zaire Taylor is back at the Lions along with a number of returning players including Jamal Williams, who misses Saturday’s game through injury.
Last season: Scorchers 1-2 Lions (1-3 all comps)
Bristol Flyers v Plymouth Raiders
Details: Saturday 24 September, SGS Wise Arena, 7:30pm – BBL Championship
Summary: The South-West rivalry is renewed as both teams look to get their campaigns up and running on Saturday evening. Bristol have been victorious on all but one occasion of the eight meetings between the two sides.
Last season: Flyers 2-1 Raiders (3-1 all comps)
Leeds Force v DBL Sharks Sheffield
Details: Sunday 25 September, Carnegie Sports Centre, 4pm – BBL Championship
Summary: The Sharks have enjoyed the better of the local rivalry since Force entered the BBL and won all three encounters last season. With Leeds making the post-season and Sheffield winning the Play-Offs, both teams ended campaigns on a high.
Last season: Force 0-3 Sharks
Leicester Riders v Worcester Wolves
Details: Sunday 25 September, Leicester Sports Arena, 4pm – BBL Championship
Summary: The defending champions swept the series with Worcester last season en route to claiming the league title. Riders dropped just four league games in 2015-16, but face a tricky opening weekend to overcome.
Last season: Riders 3-0 Wolves
Plymouth Raiders v Surrey Scorchers
Details: Sunday 25 September, Plymouth Pavilions, 4pm – BBL Championship
Summary: Both teams are back in action as the second part of a weekend double-header. Plymouth and Surrey missed out on the Play-Offs last year and will be hoping to get off to a good start this weekend.
Last season: Raiders 2-1 Scorchers
Manchester Giants v Glasgow Rocks
Details: Sunday 25 September, Lucozade Soccerdome, 5pm – BBL Championship
Summary: Manchester host Glasgow in the opening fixture for both sides. The Giants finished 11th last season, while the Rocks missed out on a place in the top four before falling short of the BBL Play-Off Final.
Last season: Giants 0-3 Rocks
Cheshire Phoenix v Esh Group Eagles Newcastle
Details: Sunday 25 September, Cheshire Oaks Arena, 5:30pm – BBL Championship
Summary: Cheshire ended Newcastle’s season prematurely with a victory in the opening round of the Play-Offs and have new leadership under Colin O’Reilly. The Eagles have brought in some fresh faces and can no longer call upon Charles Smith – who announced his retirement this week.
Last season: Phoenix 1-2 Eagles (2-6 all comps)