A whole new ball game as Premier League begins

SuperLeague basketball is dead. Long live Basketball Ireland Premier League. Basketball Ireland is expanding the top league from eight to 10 teams with Templeogue of Dublin and Belfast Star joining the top flight for the 2013/14 campaign.

Bernard O'Byrne: The new format promises an 'exciting' season ahead. Picture: SPORTSFILE

As well as a new name and teams, the Premier League will be directly linked with the Basketball Ireland Division 1 league, which until now had been run as a mostly separate entity.

Aside from the phased introduction of a promotion and relegation system between the divisions, there will also be an end-of-season crossover between the top Premier and Division 1 sides in the Champions Trophy competition.

“We are also introducing a double leg cup format this season and a new league cup that will run alongside the Champions Trophy, so teams from both the Premier and Division One that missed out on qualification for the Champions Trophy can get to play each other for a second national title in March, so it’s all very exciting for the upcoming season,” said Basketball Ireland secretary general/chief executive, Bernard O’Byrne.

Fixtures for both divisions and details about the restructured National Cup competitions will be released shortly.

Premier: Belfast Star, Bord Gais Neptune, C&C UCC Demons, DCU Saints, Dublin Inter, Killester, Moycullen, Templeogue, UCD Marian, UL Eagles.

Division One: Titans BC, Portlaoise Panthers, Team Garveys St Marys Castleisland, Swords Thunder, Basket Medicus Polish (pending their final interview on Thursday September 5), Maree BC, C&S Blue Demons, Tolka Rovers, Team Left Bank Kilkenny, Fr Matthews.

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