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Newcastle begin title defence as BBL Trophy gets underway

The 2012-13 BBL Trophy kicks off this weekend with half of the first round matches being played including Durham v Newcastle as the Eagles begin the defence of their title.

The 2012-13 BBL Trophy kicks off this weekend with half of the first round matches being played as Newcastle begin the defence of their title.

The 12 teams from the BBL are joined by three members of Division 1 and the Edinburgh Kings.

Last season’s finalists are both in action on the road as champions Newcastle make the short trip to Durham while Plymouth travel to face the in-form Worcester Wolves. The other first round matches this weekend include London Lions hosting Cheshire Phoenix and last season’s treble winners in the EBL, Essex Leopards entertaining the Leicester Riders.

The first round matches should be complete next week with the final four games taking place. 1999 winners Manchester Giants are at home to Sheffield on the Friday before a battle of Scotland takes place the following day as Glasgow visit Edinburgh.

The last two matches feature teams from the division below who will fancy their chances of causing an upset. Reading, unbeaten in eight league games so far, take on Surrey while Worthing are at home to the Mersey Tigers with both teams yet to win a league game this season.

The quarter final draw has already been conducted by the BBL:

Durham Wildcats/Newcastle Eagles v Worcester Wolves/Plymouth Raiders
Reading Rockets/Surrey Heat v Essex Leopards/Leicester Riders
Manchester Giants/Sheffield Sharks v Edinburgh Kings/Glasgow Rocks
Worthing Thunder/Mersey Tigers v London Lions/Cheshire Phoenix

There could be a repeat of last year’s final with Newcastle and Plymouth scheduled to meet in the last eight should they progress in the first round. Manchester will feel confident of a cup run with two home matches drawn while the winner of the game between London and Cheshire will relish the prospect of facing a side struggling in their respective leagues.

The final of the 2013 BBL Trophy will be played at the Emirates Arena, home of the Glasgow Rocks, on Saturday 9th March.

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