By Eurohoops team/ firstname.lastname@example.org
With Segafredo Virtus Bologna, Iberostar Tenerife, Brose Bamberg and Telenet Giants Antwerp qualifying for the Final Four, the Basketball Champions League had to choose from four great destinations to organize the finale and they decided on Antwerp, Belgium.
The city and the country itself isn’t traditionally known for basketball and it hasn’t been among their most popular sports but the BCL CEO Patrick Comninos has been well aware of the fact: “From our side, this is a bet. We are taking our most prestigious event to a city, a country that is not traditionally basketball frenzy but where we feel very comfortable we can create another milestone”, he said at the press conference after the draw.
That said, the Giants have made a historic success and have been supported by a great crowd throughout the season which is exactly what Comninos and BCL count on: “We know how the night of Giants is usually perceived in the Sports Palace and the sort of excitement that is created around this unique event so, from our side, we hope to generate similar interest over the entire weekend and to be able to offer the entire community of Antwerp and to all the visiting supporters a fantastic event”, he noted.
Bart De Wever, the mayor of Antwerp was very pleased that their team made history and brought the Final Four in Belgium: “For us as a city, it’s a joyous occasion. We have been working very hard to become a reference city in terms of sports. A few years ago we were relatively nowhere but if you see where we are today, we’re achieving this goal. We’re writing basketball history, the Champions League, the first time a team of our country, our city reaches the final four and we are already the host city.”
The Port of Antwerp CEO Jacques Vandermeiren was also present: “We are used to doing this here in the port house being one of the most important ports in the world and second largest in Europe. We have more than 450 international delegations every year within other disciplines but I’m very happy to have this day the basketball family coming from four corners of Europe”
Last but not least, the club president Roger Roels added a few words as well: “I want to thank the Basketball Champions League for having the confidence that we can organize this. We have experienced in the last couple of days a very professional approach to how we need to get his done and how we need to organize ourselves as well.”
Here you can take a look at the full press conference: