- National Teams
England Basketball have announced the structure of the National Leagues for the 2014/15 season with a number of new teams entering the ranks at the Division 4 level.
With Division 1 Leeds Carnegie and The Bristol Academy Flyers joining the BBL next season, the league will remain at 14 teams with EB deciding not to relegate any team from the top tier this summer.
The Derby Trailblazers join the top flight as the best team from EBL Division 2 after winning the League Championship and the Playoffs last season.
They will be joined in promotion by league runners-up Huddersfield Heat, who also won the Patrons Cup last campaign.
“We’re very excited about the prospect of testing ourselves in the Division 1,” said Huddersfield Head Coach Eduardo Perez.
”We look forward to putting together a good team with hopefully a fair bit of D1 experience as well as some young home-grown talent.”
There was a wide expectation that 3rd place Ipswich would also receive promotion to Division 1 due to expected relegations from the top tier. However, England Basketball have decided they shall remain in Division 2 for at least another year.
“We didn’t finish in the promotion places so therefore don’t qualify for promotion. I can live with that,” said Ipswich Head Coach Nick Drane when speaking to Hoopsfix this afternoon.
“I’m hopeful that with the squad we have as well as some acquisitions we’re looking to make over the summer, as well as our link with Essex University, that we will be strong enough to secure promotion next year.”
Speaking to Simon Turton, National Leagues Officer at England Basketball this afternoon, Hoopsfix requested clarification on the reasoning behind the EBL Division 1 structure for next season.
“With the two teams, Leeds and Bristol joining the BBL for next season it left us with a situation where there were two more slots available in D1 for next season.”
“The top two teams from Division 2 gained promotion as is the requirements. We then requested submissions from the bottom two placed teams in Division 1, and the 3rd and 4th place teams from Division 2 on the basis of them applying for places in Division 1 for next season.
“On the basis of these submissions, we concluded that Team Northumbria and the Leicester Warriors would retain their spots and there would be no relegation from EBL Division 1 this season.
“There was nothing outstanding that denied Ipswich a place, we just felt that after requesting submissions from the four teams, that the two strongest were those of Leicester and Team Northumbria.
England Basketball have decided only to relegate one team from Division 2 in the Mansfield Giants while London United retain their spot and are joined by newcomers Birmingham Mets, Lancashire Spinners (formerly Rossendale Raptors), London Greenhouse Pioneers and London Lituanica.
Liverpool have received promotion to Division 3 North along with the Hull Wasps and NULC Knights, while in the South, BC Medelynas London and Middlesex LTBC make up the ranks.
The full list of EBL League Structures for 2014/15 can be found here.