- National Teams
Bristol Flyers will take their first foray into Europe next season as they are set to become the first British team to compete in the newly-formed European North Basketball League (ENBL) next season.
Fresh off a top-three season in the BBL Championship, Bristol will join London Lions and Leicester Riders as British teams who represented on the continent this season, as they play in the two year old competition that was established for professional clubs in Northern, Central and Eastern Europe, who aspire to compete internationally at the highest level.
“This is an exciting opportunity to experience European competition and understand what it takes to compete at this level, both on and off the court,” Bristol Flyers Head Coach Andreas Kapoulas said.
“As a club we are on an incredible journey over the last 18 years and with our new venue on the horizon, we want to continue our progress by taking the next steps in the development of our programme.”
The Flyers will fly the British Basketball League flag in the ENBL alongside teams from Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Poland, Czech Republic, Kosovo, Israel and Ukraine.
The addition of the Flyers will take the ENBL to 16 teams for the 2023/24 campaign – with clubs drawn into two eight team groups, competing in seven midweek games during the regular season. The top four from each group will advance to the ENBL playoffs, before a final four will be held at a
central location in April 2024.
Previous ENBL Champion Anwil Wloclawek went on to win the FIBA Europe Cup this season.
Speaking on the club’s new European adventure, Flyers Director Jon Lansdown said:
“We are really excited to join this competition. Participating in the ENBL brings to life our European ambitions and offers us a platform to continue to grow and build further momentum for the Flyers.
“It will be fantastic to introduce European basketball to Bristol and we look forward to what the competition will bring, not just for the club but our fans and the city too.”
The Bristol Flyers, were established in 2005, securing promotion to Basketball England’s NBL Division One in 2007, becoming National Cup Champions in 2010 and being crowned as Division One Champions in 2011.
In 2014, the club secured financial backing from Bristol Sport Ltd to enter the top-flight British Basketball League and have climbed through the ranks during their nine-year spell in the league – reaching the BBL Cup Final in 2020 and securing their highest league finish of third during the 2022/23 season.
“The ENBL has been working hard since day one to have team from the UK join our ENBL family and Bristol Flyers have proven their professionalism, both on and off the court,” Edgars Zanders, Secretary General of the European North Basketball League added.
“This season has been another record-breaking year for the Flyers, having secured the most single season wins in program history and a third-placed finish in the British Basketball League, and home arena is always full of fans.
“The ENBL are certain that the Flyers will add great value to the European North Basketball League campaign for the 2023/24 season and beyond.”