Seriös Group Newcastle Eagles tip off an exciting new era in the club’s history with a tough trip to Lithuania.
Last week Marc Steutel’s men were drawn in Group B of the European North Basketball League (ENBL).
And Newcastle’s first competitive fixture on foreign soil sees the men in black face ENBL veterans Šiauliai on October 4.
The Lithuanians reached the competition’s Final Four in 2022 but dropped to 11th place in last season’s rankings.
That fall from grace led to legendary head coach and 2003 EuroBasket champion Antanas Sireika taking up a new role as honorary president and club consultant.
And Šiauliai has appointed 2023 Estonian Championship runner-up Nikolajs Mazurs to helm the franchise moving forward.
Each of the eight teams in Group B face each other once — either home or away — on the road to the 2024 Final Fours.
And that means three guaranteed Vertu Motors Arena clashes between now and January 31.
The Eagles welcome 24-time Czech champions Basket Brno to the Vertu Motors Arena on October 31.
The 2023 cup finalists appointed new head coach Martin Vanek on June 12 and opted to bring back legendary captain Jakub Krakovič for a 15th successive season of top-flight Czech hoops.
Next up Steutel’s men face back-to-back road trips against Latvia’s Valmiera (November 7) and Romanian powerhouse CSO Voluntari (December 13).
The latter dumped Leicester Riders out of last season’s Basketball Champions League qualifiers and are coached by former Latvia and Ukraine national team coach Ainars Bagatskis.
ENBL action returns to the VMA on December 28 when Polish heavyweights Zielona Gora look to crash the homecourt party.
The five-time championship winners boast EuroCup, Euroleague and Basketball Champions League experience and appointed Slovenian head coach David Dedek in July.
Royal Liege Basket are next up in Newcastle on January 23 — the first Belgian franchise to play in the ENBL.
And all eyes will be on playcaller Alex Zampier who brings experience working with NBA giants Utah Jazz, Phoenix Suns and Detroit Pistons to his new role.
The Eagles wrap up the ENBL regular season programme with a trip to Keila KK eight days later.
The ambitious Estonians are one of the fastest-rising clubs in Europe having played third-tier basketball until 2020.
These inaugural ENBL season games will be added to our fixtures and results page shortly and tickets will be available on the box office this Friday.
British Basketball League season ticketed seats will be reserved and those card holders will be able to book their usual place for the home games at greatly reduced prices. All the details will be announced on our website and emailed out this week.