Spain’s mastery hits 43% of berths in the BCL Final Four

2024-04-19T10:51:27+00:00 2024-04-19T11:38:53+00:00.

Giannis Askounis

19/Apr/24 10:51

For the first time in Basketball Champions League history, three out of the last four teams are based in the same country

By Johnny Askounis/

It does not take long to see how Spain rules over multiple levels of basketball, especially behind Liga Endesa, the ACB. The strongest domestic competition in Europe is often projected as a close rival even to continental leagues in terms of financial success to go with tremendous competitiveness across all participants. Teams representing Spain in the Basketball Champions League flourishing over the last eight years is more proof of growth.

Setting up the 2024 BCL Final Four, two-time champion Lenovo Tenerife, UCAM Murcia, and Unicaja are all on the way to contend for a championship in Belgrade Arena next weekend. The fourth team, Peristeri bwin carries the trademark know-how of head coach Vassilis Spanoulis. First place is far from a given for any of the three Spanish clubs but certainly adds to supremacy in FIBA Europe’s top-tier club continental competition.

Behind the three latest berths among the final four remaining contenders, Spain’s all-time total went up to 14. Besides becoming the first country with three participants in the Final Four, 43.8% of the teams reaching the Semifinals of the Champions League over eight editions since 2017 are from Spain.

List of countries with Final Four teams

Country Final Four Berths
Spain 14
France 4
Germany 4
Greece 3
Israel 2
Italy 2
Turkiye 2
Belgium 1

Canary Islands delivers

Among the two two-time BCL champions, Lenovo Tenerife returned to the Semifinals. Reaching this stage for a fifth time demonstrates the lasting effect of the team located in the Canary Islands on the league. Naturally, roster adjustments have been made over the years by carefully taking care of a solid core with experienced tactician Txus Vidorreta guiding his players to success at the continental level, besides multiple impressive performances at the domestic level. No other team has qualified for the Semifinals of the Champions League more than twice.

Fellow ACB clubs, Murcia and Unicaja reached the Final Four for a second time. Both sides swept the competition in a best-of-three Quarterfinals series. Besides Tenerife, Game 3 was necessary for Peristeri, a fresh new face to the party and the second side from Greece following former champion AEK to place among the four best teams of the Champions League.

Final Four standings

1 Iberostar Tenerife
2 Banvit
3 AS Monaco
4 Umana Reyer Venice
2 AS Monaco
3 UCAM Murcia
4 MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg
1 Virtus Segafredo Bologna
2 Iberostar Tenerife
3 Telenet Antwerp Giants
4 Brose Bamberg
2019-20 *
1 Hereda San Pablo Burgos
3 JDA Dijon
4 Casademont Zaragoza
2020-21 *
1 Hereda San Pablo Burgos
2 Pinar Karsiyaka
3 Casademont Zaragoza
4 SIG Strasbourg
1 Lenovo Tenerife
2 BAXI Manresa
3 MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg
4 Hapoel U-NET Holon
1 Telekom Baskets Bonn
2 Hapoel Bank Yahav Jerusalem
3 Lenovo Tenerife
4 Unicaja

* Championship tournament in Final Eight format

The Spanoulis threat

Only Peristeri stands from potentially crowning a fifth champion from Spain on 28 April in Belgrade. Making their way to the capital of Serbia, the four remaining contenders, Tenerife, Murcia, and Unicaja plus the team coached by Spanoulis, match up in Semifinals contests on Friday, 26 April.

Final Four Schedule

Semifinals: Lenovo Tenerife – Peristeri bwin (26/4, 18:00 CET)
Semifinals: UCAM Murcia – Unicaja (26/4, 21:00 CET)
Third-place game: Lenovo Tenerife OR Peristeri bwin – UCAM Murcia OR Unicaja (28/4, 17:00 CET)
Championship game: Lenovo Tenerife OR Peristeri bwin – UCAM Murcia OR Unicaja (28/4, 20:00 CET)

Photo Credit: Basketball Champions League

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