Newcomers Manchester Giants have been handed a tough trip to Glasgow Rocks in the first round of the BBL Cup, with the draw for the Trophy also made.
It has also been confirmed that Mersey Tigers, who host Guildford, will take their place in the top flight after coming through an audit of their ownership structure.
Cup holders Newcastle Eagles, Leicester Riders and Worcester Wolves are able to relax with a quarter-final place already in the bag after each receiving a bye for finishing in the top three positions of the BBL Championship last season.
All games in the first round of the competition will be played during the weekend of the 12-14 October.
The quarter-finals will also be a single leg game ahead of the two-legged semi-finals when the last four teams standing will fight it out to make the 2013 BBL Cup Final on Sunday 13 January at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham.
BBL Cup First Round Draw:
Glasgow Rocks v Manchester Giants
Mersey Tigers v Guildford Heat
Sheffield Sharks v Cheshire Jets
MK Lions v Durham Wildcats
Plymouth Raiders v East London Royals
Meanwhile Edinburgh Kings, London Leopards and Reading Rockets will enter this year’s re-jigged Trophy competition which not only moves away from being played at the start of the season, but also reverts back to a knockout format.
Newcastle won the BBL Trophy last season as part of their clean sweep and they won’t have far to travel when they go up against Durham at Newton Aycliffe.
The other team who made last season’s final were Plymouth Raiders and they will be desperate to go one better this year. Their bid will also start with an away game against Worcester Wolves, a team they know well from previous BBL Trophy meetings.
London Leopards arguably have the toughest assignment should Leicester Riders be anything like as powerful as last season although at least Leopards already know from previous experience what it takes to face a team coached by Rob Paternostro.
Last but not least, there are two relative derby games of sorts to be played out as EBL club Reading Rockets host Guildford while sparks could fly when Edinburgh Kings entertain Glasgow Rocks.
BBL Trophy First Round Draw
Edinburgh Kings v Glasgow Rocks
Durham Wildcats v Newcastle Eagles
East London Royals v Mersey Tigers
London Leopards v Leicester Riders
Manchester Giants v Sheffield Sharks
MK Lions v Cheshire Jets
Reading Rockets v Guildford Heat
Worcester Wolves v Plymouth Raiders
All first round BBL Trophy games will be played between 28 December and 6 January with the winners advancing to the one-legged quarter-final stage.
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