By Antonis Stroggylakis / AStroggylakis@eurohoops.net
The 2021 ABA League champion will participate in the 2021-2022 EuroLeague by receiving one of the two available annual associate wild cards. EuroLeague Basketball had officially marked the ABA champion as “priority holder” for a wild card and Eurohoops confirmed that the top team of this year in the ABA League will get a spot among the 18 clubs of the 2021-2022 edition of top-tier continental competition.
ABA (Adriatic Basketball Association) is the only league among those which are represented in EuroLeague that doesn’t have a club with an A license, long-term license (ASVEL Villeurbanne, Bayern Munich), or a multi-year associate license (Alba Berlin), something that was a factor in the organization’s decision.
Another criterion that played a part in EuroLeague’s decision-making process towards securing a position for the ABA League champion, was the fact that since 2019 ABA has the upper hand when it comes to the wildcard selection.
The last remaining EuroLeague wild card will most likely go to either Valencia, Virtus Bologna, or Zenit St. Petersburg. Zenit, which just advanced to the EuroLeague playoffs for the first time in the history of the club, are currently the frontrunners to get the wild card and return to the league for the third straight year.
As of 15/4, Buducnost VOLI and reigning (2019, since the 2020 season was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic) champion Crvena Zvezda have clinched their qualification to the ABA playoffs. Igokea, Mornar Bar, and Cedevita Olimpija will compete for the other two postseason spots.