PLAYOFF RETHINK IN THE WORKS

The British Basketball League have drafted plans to move their end of season Playoffs to best-of-three series.

It could see a switch away from the current home and away legs which have come under criticism from coaches and fans alike.

With most major nations, including the NBA, utilising a multi-game series in their playoffs, the BBL’s format currently offers little advantage for earning a high position during the league campaign.

But even though this season’s playoffs, which begin on Friday night, will still be decided on an aggregate scoreline, the wave of new basketball-centric venues being built by clubs could pave the way to a re-think for the quarter and semi-final stages, at least.

“From a competition point of view, we would do it tomorrow if we could,” said BBL chief operating officer Andy Webb. “The issue is still venues. But we’re now at a stage where were are looking seriously at it.”

The idea has been backed by Paul Blake, the influential chair of Newcastle Eagles. whose own 3,000-capacity arena is due to open next year.

“We’re in a transitional period right now with more clubs moving towards securing permanent homes and enjoying better relationships with their primary venues,” he said.

“I can only see that situation improving in the next few years and I think it’s worth looking at whether we’re in a stronger position as a league to shake up the playoffs. We may need to squeeze an extra week into the end of the season to allow for last-minute fixtures but that could happen.”

Photo: Mansoor Ahmed

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