PRESTON, Lancs - Myerscough Basketball Academy makes its anticipated debut in the European Youth Basketball League (EYBL) in Tallinn, Estonia for Stage I playing the first of its five games beginning Sept. 21. The under-20 competition regular season, which is staged across three weekends throughout the year, concludes with a Final Four in April 2019.
“The experience will really define us and I am sure that it will help propel us to the next level,” said Myerscough head coach Neal Hopkins. “We are ambitious and hungry and I would like to think that us committing to a European schedule demonstrates just how serious we are. I feel that we have the opportunity to make a statement and showcase some of the talent we have in Britain.”
Myerscough tips off a Friday double-header on Sept. 21 against TTÜ Korvpallikool (Tallinn) at 12:30 p.m. EEST before matching up with Västra Hisingen (Göteborg, SWE) later that the evening. The visit to Estonia’s capital city also includes games versus Tallinn Kalev and BC Helsinki ROCKS (Helsinki, FIN) on Saturday and BC Alvik Basket (Stockholm, SWE) on Sunday.
The Preston-based Academy was drawn into Group B alongside Valmiera ORDO (Valmiera, LAT), BC Alvik Basket (Stockholm, SWE) and BC Tsmoki-Minsk (Minsk, BEL), with the winner of the group advancing to April’s Final Four.
“I would like to think that this step will encourage others within the U.K. to take a similar route, as the exposure for the next generation is hugely important and I hope the wider impact of us entering the EYBL will be felt,” said Hopkins. “We have such a fantastic platform at Myerscough and with the backing of senior management we really have a chance to establish our programme in Europe.
“I am very proud of what we have achieved in our relatively short existence, it has taken an incredible amount of time and effort and we haven’t always got it right but I think our inclusion in the EYBL is something to be celebrated as it will offer us a platform to develop in so many ways.”
Myerscough will make visits to Ventspils, Latvia and Lublin, Poland for Stages II and III in December and February, respectively, with schedules and opponents to be confirmed.
Myerscough EYBL Stage I Schedule (All times EEST):
Friday, Sept. 21 - Myerscough vs. TTU BS (12:30 p.m.)
Friday, Sept. 21 - Vastra Hisingen Basketball vs. Myerscough (6:30 p.m.)
Saturday, Sept. 22 - Myerscough vs. BA Tallinn Kalev (10 a.m.)
Saturday, Sept. 22 - BC Helsinki ROCKS vs. Myerscough (5 p.m.)
Sunday, Sept. 23 - Myerscough vs. BC Alvik Basket (10 a.m.)
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