Portlaoise Panthers are among five teams to have successfully applied to join the Basketball Ireland Men’s Division One National League for the 2017/18 season.
All five applications have been approved by the MNCC (Men’s National Competitions Committee) following an interview process at the weekend.
Titans from Co. Galway, who came bottom of the Men’s Division One League last year, successfully reapplied for the Division this year, and they will be joined by four new men’s teams for this League including: Portlaoise Panthers, Ballincollig BC, LIT Celtics and St Paul’s BC Killarney.
Speaking about the news, Chair of the MNCC Bernard O’Byrne stated: “This is an exciting time for basketball in Ireland. We are delighted to see the continuing growth of the sport, and the addition of four new teams to the League further underlines the hard work and commitment that is being put in at underage level by clubs around the country.
“We are delighted to see a midlands team come in to the Men’s National League with the arrival of Portlaoise Panthers. They have enjoyed a lot of underage success and have a women’s team in the Super League so this was the next logical step for the club and we look forward to welcoming them.
“Ballincollig BC brings the number of Cork clubs participating at National League level to four, highlighting the great work that is being done in the county to grow and develop the sport while similarly in Kerry, St Paul’s BC are the third Kerry club to join the National League in as many years.
“We are also delighted to welcome Limerick’s LIT Celtics to the League, and to welcome Titans BC back to the League once more. There is certainly an exciting year of basketball ahead.”
The addition of the teams has increased the Men’s Division One League to 15 teams, with the five aforementioned teams joining: BFG Neptune, Ulster University Elks, ITC Basketball, Team Kilkenny, LYIT Donegal, Ej Sligo All-Stars, Keane’s SuperValu Killorglin, Fr Mathews, Dublin Lions and Radisson Blu UL Eagles.