GIANTS AND ROYALS TO JOIN BBL

The Manchester Giants and East London Royals will be joining the BBL next season.

The Royals will be based at the Sporthouse, in Mayesbrook Park, Dagenham which boasts a capcity of up to 4,000.

“We are very excited at joining the BBL at a great time for the sport in the UK,” said club director Mark Clark. “The BBL has gained great exposure over the last two seasons and the Olympic Games will give the sport huge coverage. With our involvement in the local GB Regional Basketball Institute, we hope the BBL team will also provide a pathway for the cream of the Institute players.”

The Giants meanwhile will be overseen by head coach Jeff Jones – and be based at the Wright Robinson Sports College in the east of Manchester.

“I am absolutely delighted to be back coaching the Manchester Giants,” said Jones. “It has been a long-term ambition of mine to bring a professional basketball franchise back to Manchester and we’re aiming to hit the ground running and introduce a competitive team to the league, with a good balance of home grown talent with more experienced players.”

BBL chairman Paul Blake said: “We are delighted to welcome two new clubs to the BBL next season and are particularly pleased that the location of the new clubs map our own Franchise Development plan, including a team in one of the Olympic Boroughs. We wish them every success both off and on the court.”

Whilst continuing to grow their local community activities, a short term delay with their venue build has meant that the new Birmingham franchise will now not commence BBL competitions until the 2013/14 season.

The BBL will make 2012/13 fixture format announcements in the coming weeks.

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