Bullets conjure dream tie

Click to follow

Birmingham will come face to face with Earvin "Magic" Johnson in European competition next season. The new format for the 2001-02 NEBL Open will pit the Bullets against the former NBA player and his Magic Great Danes team.

Birmingham made a successful first foray into European competition last season, reaching the Challenge Cup final. The NEBL now has three groups in the preliminary round, in which Bullets will play four games at home and four away between October and December. In Bullets' Group A are their cup final conquerors, Odessa, of the Ukraine, Alvik Stockholm of Sweden, Pepinster of Belgium, Ventspils of Latvia and BC Siauliai of Lithuania. Two teams are yet to be confirmed.

The top five teams from this nine-team group will go through to the qualification round, to be played in January and February 2002.