Comninos on additions to BCL: They bring traditions, large fan base and experience

2020-05-20T19:01:29+00:00 2020-05-20T19:02:07+00:00.

Stefan Djordjevic

20/May/20 19:01

Patrick Comninos talked about the new additions to the Basketball Champions League, the current and future situation of the clubs

By Eurohoops team/

Basketball Champions League will get three new additions to the competition next season as Darussafaka, Bilbao Basket and Rytas Vilnius confirmed their participation. CEO Patrick Comninos spoke to Delfi and noted the importance of new teams joining:

“From the very beginning, the aim of the Champions League has been to offer clubs the best possible conditions. We are still a young competition, but every year we get stronger and we see that European clubs are noticing this as well. All three new members represent one of the strongest basketball leagues in Europe and hold very high positions. However, in addition to athletic performance and a high level of basketball, they all have deep historical traditions, a large fan base and experience. All of this, and many other factors, will definitely add even more awareness and solidity to the tournament next season. For example, the infrastructure – Rytas club competes in one of the best arenas in Europe, and in my opinion, it would be quite a good candidate to compete for the Champions League Final Four, if the team managed to get there.”

He talked about the hiatus caused by the coronavirus pandemic, explaining that it brings many unknowns going forward but that BCL and teams participating at least have enough clarity about the next steps, such as finishing the 2019-20 season:

“We were in the final stage of the playoffs when on March 30th. had to make a decision to suspend the tournament because both players and fans were threatened. But today we already have a clear solution: September 30 – October 4. A Final Eight tournament will be held in which we will find out the strongest teams. So, there is some clarity for everyone – the clubs, their fans, the league and the organizers. As for the future, we are in the same situation as the whole world, a unique situation with a great deal of uncertainty about the future. We can speculate a lot about the potential impact, but one thing is clear: it is an unexpected crisis that will force all players in the basketball world to rethink their strategies, plans, visions and philosophies. Many will need to adapt to the new reality.”

Comninos also noted that the future should be easier for the clubs with a good structure, including a good foundation in a player development program:

“In my opinion, it will be easier for clubs that have a strong foundation. I am referring to the structure of the pyramid, which also includes youth, children’s basketball schools or centers. I would guess that the importance and role of home-grown basketball talent can grow strongly. Although this aspect was important in the Champions League’s vision even before the pandemic – a couple of years ago we introduced the minimum number of “home players” that every club playing in our tournament must register in its application.”