The British Basketball League will stage this season’s Trophy final to the 17,000-capacity O2 Arena in London, as MVP first revealed.

The National Basketball Association has confirmed that a landmark deal has been finalised to move the fixture to the showpiece venue where it will be held as a double-bill with the second of two regular season games between the Toronto Raptors and New Jersey Nets on March 5.

The tie was originally scheduled to be played over two legs on a home and away basis. However, it will now become another plank in the NBA-driven ‘Basketball Week’ initiative, which aims to raise the profile of the sport ahead of the first two competitive NBA games ever held in Europe.

‘This is a very exciting opportunity for the BBL to work in partnership with the NBA, and to stage one of our major events Finals at the prestigious O2 Arena,” said BBL Chairman Paul Blake said.

“Basketball fans in the UK are going to be able to enjoy a feast of basketball, with two top British teams going head-to-head in the BBL Trophy Final, followed by a regular-season NBA game.

“We are delighted to be working with the NBA in promoting the two games, and I am sure basketball fans will respond with excitement. We are also committing jointly to staging some very exciting development activities in the lead-up to the games, taking the excitement of the events to the country.”

“We see it as a way of joining the dots,” said a league source.

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