By Antonis Stroggylakis/ email@example.com
The 2016/2017 season will mark the first time in which no French clubs will participate in either Euroleague or Eurocup, the first and second-tier basketball competitions in Europe. All French teams consented with the will of the country’s Basketball Federation, which was the first that was aligned with FIBA and its new European basketball tournament and did not register for the Eurocup.
As the French league (LNB) mentioned in one of its announcements related to the whole matter, “will not accept its clubs to individually engage in Eurocup”. Six of the most prominent LNB teams had previously expressed their desire to play in Eurocup, but ultimately followed the decision of the Federation and the league.
Perhaps the most surprising (and rather curious) change of mind came from Villeurbanne. As the club’s owner, Tony Parker (yes the Spurs superstar) has been really pro Euroleague/Eurocup, having stated more than once that his goal is for Villeurbanne to participate in the major European competitions, no matter the possible consequences or sanctions. However, the Pro A champions were not among the teams that were registered in order to play in Eurocup.
Meanwhile, Strasbourg, the Eurocup and Pro A finalists also picked the choice of playing in the FIBA Champions League. The decision was announced some hours ago, by the club’s president Martial Bellon, during the press conference in the official presentation of the team’s new head coach, Henrik Dettmann.