By Eurohops team/ email@example.com
The eagerly anticipated inaugural season of the Basketball Champions League (BCL), the innovative new European club competition, is officially underway with the BCL Board that convened in Munich, Germany on Wednesday 29 June confirming the clubs that will participate in the 2016-17 season, set to tip off in September.
The Board also approved the official draw of the competition, which is to take place in Munich, on 21 July.
The Basketball Champions League made good on its promise and philosophy to deliver a competition based on sporting principles, with a total of 48 teams from 31 different European leagues, including 17 national champions being admitted to the inaugural season. From those the Board approved 24 clubs for a direct spot in the Regular Season. The remaining eight places will be determined through the Qualification Round.
Four Regular Season spots were allocated to French clubs including the country’s champion and Cup winner while two Regular Season places were given to clubs from Italy, Germany, Greece and Turkey. The champions of Belgium, Czech Republic and Israel also get a direct spot in the Regular Season.
The 24 clubs with a place in the Regular Season are:
|ASVEL Lyon Villeurbanne (FRA)||SIG Basket Strasbourg (FRA)||AS Monaco (FRA)||Le Mans Sarthe (FRA)|
|BK Banvit (TUR)||Pinar Karsiyaka (TUR)||Aris Thessaloniki (GRE)||Sidigas Avellino (ITA)|
|Fraport Skyliners (GER)||EWE Baskets Oldenburg (GER)||PAOK (GRE)||Umana Reyer Venezia (ITA)|
|BC Telenet Oostende (BEL)||Maccabi Rishon Le Zion (ISR)||Cibona Zagreb (CRO)||ČEZ Basketball Nymburk (CZE)|
|Neptunas (LTU)||Rosa Radom (POL)||Helios Suns (SLO)||Mega Leks (SRB)|
|Iberostar Tenerife (ESP)||Avtodor Saratov (RUS)||BC Khimik (UKR)||Ventspils (LAT)|
A further 24 teams will play in two qualification rounds to determine the remaining eight Regular Season tickets.
Sixteen (16) of those clubs will play in Qualification Round 1 where they will face each other in home and away games. The eight winners will play the eight clubs already placed in Qualification Round 2, home and away, with the eight victors progressing to the Regular Season.
The clubs of the Qualification Round:
Qualification Round 1
|Juventus (LTU)||Kataja (FIN)||Igokea (BIH)||Rilski Sportist (BUL)|
|Tsmoki Minsk (BLR)||Donar Groningen (NED)||KK Mornar Bar (MNE)||Tartu Ülikool/Rock (EST)|
|CS Municipal Oradea (ROU)||U-Mobitelco BT Cluj-Napoca (ROU)||BC Prievidza (SVK)||Bakken Bears (DEN)|
|Södertälje Kings(SWE)||FC Porto (POR)||Benfica (POR)||Petrolina AEK (CYP)|
Qualification Round 2
|Lukoil Academic (BUL)||Szolnoki Olaj (HUN)||Proximus Spirou Charleroi (BEL)||Besiktas Sompo Japan (TUR)|
|Ironi Nahariya (ISR)||Muratbey Usak Sportif (TUR)||Openjobmetis Varese (ITA)||MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg (GER)|
The Basketball Champions League starts on 27 September with the Qualification Round while the Regular Season tips off on 20 October 2016.