ESSEX Leopards will be remaining in the English Basketball League next season.

The Basildon-based side had been exploring the possibility of making the step up to the British Basketball League when the new campaign tips-off in September.

But the Echo can reveal Leopards have decided against the idea for now, although club chiefs remain quietly confident of playing in the BBL for the 2012/13 season.

“We have been working closely with the BBL now for a number of months to bring top level basketball back to Essex and feel the decision to remain in the EBL for one more season is the right one for the long-term sustainability of the Leopards,” said the club’s managing director Gareth Roberts.

“However, we are continuing to work with the BBL and hope to be able to confirm our position for the 2013-14 season shortly.”

Leopards, who also play their home matches in Brentwood, enjoyed a tremendous season last time around and won a trio of trophies.

As well as finishing on top of Division One in the English Basketball League, Leopards also won the National Cup and the end of season play-offs.

And Roberts wants the club’s progress to continue.

“The last 12 months have been an amazing time for our club both on and off the court as we look to move the club forward in all areas,” said Roberts.

“We look forward to being able to put a strong team back on the floor again this coming season as we aim to retain the three trophies we won last season, and maybe going one better by adding the National Trophy as well.”