By Stefan Djordjevic / firstname.lastname@example.org
Patrick Comninos, the CEO of Basketball Champions League, joined the Coast to Coast podcast to talk about various topics including the conclusion of the 2019-20 season as well as the challenge of completing the upcoming one.
Before all that, Comninos shared some words on San Pablos Burgos‘ road to victory as well as how it inspires other clubs.
“This was a club that had an ambition, that represents an entire city, an entire region. There’s no football club in Burgos so everybody has embraced this basketball project in this very unique arena that used to be a bull-fighting arena. They have the ACB record in attendance for two years in a row with more than 9,000 fans in every game,” he said and added.
“You’re right to say this serves as an inspiration and we have seen the results of this. In the inaugural 2016-17 season, Tenerife, which won it, was the only Spanish club that registered to play in the Basketball Champions League. Last year, we had eight Spanish clubs registering for four positions. So, these stories do serve as inspiration, they do motivate clubs and they understand the BCL offers an approach where they can control their own destiny as long as they perform well in ACB.”
Looking ahead, BCL’s main concern is completing the season: “We are basing our approach on one principle which is – it’s not just essential to start the competition, it’s essential to conclude it. As you’ve seen with the 2019-20 season, our focus and our commitment went to concluding the season and crowning the champions. We approach the new season in a similar manner.”
However, that won’t be easy to do, especially early on as the winter weather intensifies and the COVID-19 situation most likely worsens across the globe.
“All the information that we’ve had from our medical experts is that over the next three months, until January, the situation in Europe is not gonna get much better when it comes to COVID-19. This is due to a number of factors – the cold winter in the northern hemisphere, the mutation of the virus… The upcoming months do not look easy.”
One of the things BCL prepared to make it through the challenges is the change of format. The 32 clubs have been split into eight groups instead of four, and the schedule has been spread out more.
“We took a step back into our plan B which was already prepared in July. We moved to eight games a week instead of 16 and teams play effectively on alternate weeks. This means that if for whatever reason, we have the flexibility to reschedule the game. At the end, that was the only way we felt comfortable in delivering a full and competitive regular season.”
Take a listen to the full interview:
Photo Credit: Basketball Champions League