SHEFFIELD Sharks will get an early look at BBL Championship favourites Newcastle Eagles when the teams meet in a pre-season tournament next month.
Sharks will be one of six teams to take part in the competition at the Eagles home court of Sport Central at Northumbria University.
Two teams of trialists from the United States, BBL club Durham Wildcats and a team from the University make up the rest. Sheffield have been drawn in a Group A with the Eagles and one of the USA teams. The tournament begins on Monday September 10 with Sharks playing the USA team at 6pm before taking on the Eagles at 8pm.
The winner of their group will meet the winner of Group B on Tuesday September 11.
It should be a good test for the Sharks with three matches guaranteed by the organisers.
Sheffield will be hoping for better results than last season when the BBL season tips-off on Friday September 21.
They will open their campaign at home against league new boys East London Royals before travelling for their first away fixture the following Friday at another new team this year, Manchester Giants.
The Giants have reformed after an absence of over a decade, which will renew their Roses rivalry with the Sharks.
Atiba Lyons announced his intention to just coach this season rather than combining playing duties as well.
Sharks have yet to announce their new signings for the season although it is expected that there will be several new faces in their line up after finishing last year without a trophy.
Both the BBL Cup and BBL Trophy will be straight knockout competitions this season.
Sharks play Cheshire Jets in the Cup at home on Friday October 12 and the Giants away in the Trophy on Friday January 4.