Leicester Riders have opted out of playing in European club competition next season, after receiving an invitation from the international governing body FIBA, in light of winning the BBL Playoff Final, and finishing second in the BBL Championship.
That means that no British club will play in Europe next season, since the BBL Champions, London Lions are also opting out.
Last year Riders played in the FIBA Champions League but were beaten by the Danish Champions Bakken Bears over two legs in the first qualifying round.
Riders lost all six games in the pool but Sassari, who finished only second in the group, then went on to win the FIBA Europe Cup, beating Wurzburg in the final.
Olaj, who topped the Riders group, went out at the second group stage of the Europe Cup but went on to top the Hungarian league.
Falco who finished only third in the Europe Cup pool went on to finish third in their league, but won the Hungarian playoffs.
Riders Chairman Kevin Routledge said,
“We had a balanced decision to take. Everyone involved in the club enjoyed leading BBL back into Europe, and hosting some top European clubs at the Morningside Arena.”
“The game of basketball is huge in Europe in fifty plus countries, and the fact that there are four different European Club competitions shows the strength and depth of basketball on the continent.”
“We felt we gave a very good account of ourselves on and off the court, but what the participation shows is the level of resources in the game in Europe which far outstrips in the game here.”
“Having taken part in both the Champions League Qualifications and the FIBA Europe Cup we now have a much better understanding of what is required, and we will spend the 2019/20 season looking to strengthen in those areas, on and off the court.”
“Then we can look to be more competitive in Europe in the following season, provided, of course, we qualify.”