Esh Group Eagles Newcastle are delighted to announce a fantastic pre-season line-up of games involving two top-flight international teams and BBL side Leeds Force.
Much work has gone on behind the scenes to confirm this inaugural and exciting event which will bring together Swedish Basketligan Champions Sodertalje Kings and top Belgian Scooore League side Port of Antwerp Giants together with Leeds in the Eagles Euro Invitational 2015.
The schedule sees the first two nights played at Northumbria University Sport Central with a third day challenge match to be played at a venue to be confirmed.
The provisional line-up is as follows.
Monday 7th September – Northumbria University Sport Central
6pm – Sodertalje Kings v Leeds Force
8pm – Esh Group Eagles Newcastle v Port of Antwerp Giants
Tuesday 8th September – Northumbria University Sport Central
6pm – Sodertalje Kings v Port of Antwerp Giants
8pm – Esh Group Eagles Newcastle v Leeds Force
Wednesday 9th September – Northumbria University Sport Central
6.30pm – Esh Group Eagles Newcastle v Sodertalje Kings
Sodertalje Kings are Sweden’s top professional basketball team and in winning the Swedish Championship last season they confirmed that position having also won the Championship in the two previous seasons.
Under Head Coach Vedran Bosnic who is also the Swedish National Team Coach, The Kings have improved season upon season since he took charge in May 2010.
They reached the National Championship semi-finals in 2011, were National runners-up in 2012 and have then taken the Championship in the last three seasons and they have also competed in the FIBA Eurochallenge competition in each of the last three seasons.
Of his side’s trip to Newcastle, Bosnic commented.
“We’re very excited to be coming to England to play against the UK’s top side Newcastle Eagles. When we were offered the chance to come we jumped at it as it extends our European experience and will help us prepare well for our forthcoming season. We’re really looking forward to visiting Newcastle and being part of The Eagles first-ever Euro Challenge.”
Port of Antwerp Giants were the first side to accept the Eagles invitation to play in the Challenge and Team Manager Leo De Rycke was keen to confirm his team’s participation.
“We have been in contact with Newcastle since last pre-season and told them if they were organising something for this year we would be very interested. I’m delighted it has come off and everyone that is making the trip from Antwerp is very much looking forward to meeting The Eagles and visiting Newcastle.”
“We see it as a great way to prepare for our coming season and it gives us an opportunity to play top-class international basketball before our season starts that should help us a lot.”
Port of Antwerp Giants are one of the top sides in Belgium’s top professional Scooore League having been Champions of Belgium no fewer than ten times. Last season they finished sixth and were also runners-up in the Belgian Cup.
They will also once again be playing in European competition. In the past five seasons they’ve played in the prestigious Eurochallenge Competition qualifying for the last sixteen on four occasions.
Head Coach Paul Vervaeck takes charge of Antwerp for his third consecutive season this campaign. A former Belgian Coach of the Year he is also the Belgian Under-20 Coach and is putting together an exciting line-up for the 2015/16 having confirmed a number of USA import players.
Leeds Force will make up the Challenge and will use the opportunity to prepare for their second season in The BBL where they hope to consolidate and progress now they have got the measure of the standards required.
Their pre-season recruitment has also commenced well as they’ve confirmed new GB International Zak Wells a 7′ 0” centre and former Manchester Giant 6′ 7” forward Rob Marsden as two very big signings for the 2015/16 season.
Esh Group Eagles Newcastle Managing Director Paul Blake is very excited at the prospect of seeing top class international basketball in Newcastle.
“This is something we’ve been trying to put together for some time and I know it’s something that excites Fab and the guys as well as being another step forward in the progression of The Eagles as a Basketball Club. Both European teams played in the FIBA EuroChallenge last season so we know the standard will be high.”
“We’re very much looking forward to hosting Sodertalje and Antwerp and have worked really hard to get them here and give our fans some real quality basketball to watch before The BBL season starts. It’ll also be great to have Leeds with us as well as it’s nice to see them consolidating their position.”
“It will be a prestigious and important Invitational for not just The Eagles but all in Newcastle and we hope that it’s success will enable us to build the standing of The Club in International as well as National terms.”
Tickets for the three day event are now on sale at www.newcastle-eagles.com or by calling Eagles office. Prices are £10 adults, £8 children per evening and £20 for a three evening ticket to see all 5 games.
Keep up to with the Eagles Euro Invitational via The Eagles website at www.newcastle-eagles.com as well as in the local press.