LEICESTER MUST GET PAST BEARS

Leicester Riders have been drawn against Danish side Bakken Bears in the first round of the Basketball Champions League.

The BBL championships Will be at home in the first leg on September 20 with the away leg two days later.

If Riders were to progress, they would play the winner of the tie between Hapoel Tel Aviv and Charleroi in second round – and be at home in the second leg.

The third and final qualifying round would likely pit them against Spanish ACB outfit Murcia.

Leicester could drop into the FIBA Europe Cup if they are defeated in the early rounds.

The regular season of Europe’s third-tier competition was drawn as follows.

Group A: Anwil Wloclawek (POL), Banvit (TUR), Le Mans Sarthe Basket (FRA), MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg (GER), Sidigas Avellino (ITA), Ventspils (LAT), Winner of Game 21 (Hapoel Tel Aviv/Spirou Basket/Leicester Riders/Bakken Bears/UCAM Murcia), Winner of Game 23 (FC Porto/Nizhny Novgorod/Dinamo Tbilisi/Aris/JIP Pardubice)

Group B: Hapoel UNET Holon (ISR), Iberostar Tenerife (ESP), Opava (CZE), PAOK (GRE), Telekom Baskets Bonn (GER), Umana Reyer Venezia Mestre (ITA), Winner of Game 19 (Sigal Prishtina/Donar Groningen/Fribourg Olympic/Avtodor Saratov/Sakarya Buyuksehir), Winner of Game 20 (Siauliai/Lukoil Levski/Karhu Basket Kauhajoki/CSM Oradea/Nanterre 92)

Group C: AEK (GRE), Brose Baskets Bamberg (GER), CEZ Nymburk (CZE), Eskisehir Basket (TUR), Hapoel Jerusalem (ISR), JDA Dijon Basket (FRA), Montakit Fuenlabrada (ESP), Winner of Game 22 (Red October Cantù/Szolnoki Olaj/AEK Larnaca/Telenet Giants Antwerp/Lietkabelis Panevezys)

Group D: Besiktas Sompo Japan (TUR), Neptunas Klaipeda (LTU), Oostende (BEL), Petrol Olimpija (SLO), Promitheas Patras (GRE), Segafredo Virtus Bologna (ITA), SIG Strasbourg (FRA), Winner of Game 24 (Polski Cukier Torun/Tsmoki-Minsk/Norrköping Dolphins/Movistar Estudiantes/medi Bayreuth)

The Regular Season consists of four (4) groups of eight (8) teams each, with games played on a home and away basis and in a round robin format. The four (4) best ranked teams from each group will advance to the Play-Offs. The action will tip off on 9 October.

PIC: Mansoor Ahmed

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