By Antonis Stroggylakis/ firstname.lastname@example.org
By eliminating Spanish League defending champion Valencia and advancing to the ACB semifinals, Gran Canaria were automatically granted a spot in the 2018-2019 EuroLeague. It will be the first time ever that the Spanish team will participate in the top-tier European competition.
Per the agreement between ACB and EuroLeague, the team that is ranked higher below only the clubs with a closed contract (Barcelona, Baskonia, Real Madrid) gains access to the EuroLeague of the following season. Since Real Madrid and Baskonia had already advanced to the semifinals and Barcelona eliminated Andorra tonight, the last remaining EuroLeague ticket was played between Valencia and Gran Canaria.
Gran Canaria first competed in a continental championship back in 2000-2001 when they participated in Korac Cup. Since then, they played in ULEB Cup/EuroCup eleven time and once in the FIBA EuroCup, in 2005-2006.
The most successful run in European championship for the team from Las Palmas was in 2014-2015, when they made it to the EuroCup Finals. In the title series, they were overwhelmed 2-0 by powerful Russian side Khimki Moscow.
Now Gran Canaria will have to prepare for their maiden EuroLeague campaign as one of the competition’s 16 teams. Before that of course, there’s the challenge of the Spanish League semifinals against newly crowned Euroleague champion Real Madrid.