Caledonia Gladiators have entered the Basketball Champions League (BCL) Qualification Rounds, where they stand as the only British team in the competition this season. This marks the club’s first foray in its history of competing in an official European championship.
24 teams will join the competition’s Qualification Round, and will compete for the final three spots in the BCL Regular Season, joining the 32 teams already confirmed as participants.
In the Qualification Rounds, Caledonia Gladiators will be joined by a handful of newcomers and European basketball veterans from countries across the continent. A familiar name to the British fans of the game will be Denmark’s Bakken Bears – a side that has previously faced six-time British Basketball League Champions, Leicester Riders, in the competition.
An initial draw for the Qualification Rounds and the Regular Season phase will take place at the Patrick Baumann House of Basketball on Wednesday, July 5. Caledonia Gladiators’ opponents in the competition will be revealed, with the ceremony streamed live on www.championsleague.basketball.
The news of Caledonia Gladiators’ move to the Basketball Champions League is some of the biggest in Scottish basketball history and has been a huge part of Steve and Alison Timoney’s plans since joining the club as owners last year.
With a new arena on the horizon, Playsport is set to be home to Scotland’s first European basketball since Livingston competed in FIBA’s European Champions Cup in the 1989-90 season. The club will join fellow British Basketball League teams Bristol Flyers, Newcastle Eagles and London Lions as the British clubs set to take on European competition this upcoming season – with the Eagles and Flyers competing in the European North Basketball League (ENBL), and Lions expected to enter European competition again this summer.
The Qualification Rounds begin on September 25, ending on October 1, when the final clubs to qualify for the Regular Season will be confirmed.
Caledonia Gladiators General Manager, Sean Skelly said:
“Securing our spot in the Basketball Champions League is a testament to the dedication and hard work of our team. We’ve fought relentlessly to earn this opportunity, and now we intend to become a regular feature in Europe over the coming years.”
Gladiators Head Coach, Gareth Murray added:
“Competing in the Basketball Champions League Qualifiers is a dream come true for our team and fans alike. It’s a chance for our players to compete against the best and take on teams of a European pedigree. I look forward to that challenge.”
Caledonia Gladiators Women’s Team have applied to compete in the Women’s EuroCup and are awaiting information on their potential acceptance.
With the countdown to the new season continuing, you can still get your British Basketball fix by following the League on social media or heading to our YouTube channel to relive all of the best moments from last year!