The BBL season will start as scheduled this weekend with Cup group games.

Although Newcastle Eagles has been expected to be unable to play because of a positive coronavirus test in their squad last week, they feature in an initial slate of games behind closed doors begins on Saturday with Surrey Scorchers hosting Bristol Flyers and Eagles visiting London Lions on Sunday.

All of the contests are expected to be streamed via the websites of each individual club.

The start comes despite no clarity over the exact financial funding from the government for the BBL.

Although the deadline for sports to apply for monetary assistance came two weeks ago, it is understood the Treasury has not yet finalised the sums to be given to each sport.

Sources told MVP that emergency funds are available but exact figures – and the precise strings to be attached for the bailouts – have not yet been processed.

The Cup sees the eleven BBL teams are split into three groups with the bottom teams being eliminated ahead of the knockout stages.

Group 1 – Bristol Flyers, Plymouth Raiders, Surrey Scorchers, Worcester Wolves
Group 2 – Cheshire Phoenix, Glasgow Rocks, Manchester Giants
Group 3 – Leicester Riders, London Lions, Newcastle Eagles, Sheffield Sharks
Teams will play other teams in their group home and away.
Only the bottom placed team will be eliminated from each of the groups, with the Quarter Final places determined as follows:
Group 1 winner v Group 3 third place
Group 3 winner v Group 1 third place
Group 2 winner v Group 1 runner-up
Group 3 runner-up v Group 2 runner-up

The Group Stages of the Cup will run until the end of November, with the Quarter Finals taking place between 11-13 December and the Semi-Finals 08-10 January 2021.

The Final will take place on Sunday 24 January 2021, a week later than scheduled. All fixtures are subject to change, the league added.

BBL COO Andy Webb said, “We are delighted to finally get the season launched after the very positive messages of support from the Government.

“Of course, it won’t be the same without the fans being at the venues but all the players are keen to get to proper competition after a very long pre-season. The BBL Cup will be first up, just like last season, and then we will start the BBL Championship in early December.

“Those fixtures will also be announced as soon as practical.”



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