By Aris Barkas/ email@example.com
When the Basketball Champions League decided to become a competition that will give the chance to every team to get a higher distinction in the European level, it was obvious that clubs which wanted to advance step by step, using their domestic league as a stepping stone, while having moderate financial assets, had a golden opportunity.
And while you can argue that this was also a chance for already established club like Malaga, Tenerife and even more Virtus Bologna and AEK to get back to the forefront, the cases of San Pablo Burgos and now Telekom Baskets Bonn stand out.
Those two clubs managed to create a unique legacy and turn the European spotlight on them without even having an equal domestic success. The Basketball Champions League become their main platform, creating underdogs stories that everyone can relate to and after all even it’s of course a cliché, that’s a big part of modern day sports.
Plus, their on court excellence was rewarded with the prize money of one million euros, a sum which is a crucial percentage of their budget, as BCL CEO Patrick Comninos explained on his meeting with the press in Malaga.
There are in total more than 150 clubs in Europe competing in their top tier division on their own countries. Out of all those clubs, there are more teams like Bonn which deserve to have something more than just local interest and need a bigger platform to shine on. That’s what the Basketball Champions League provides to them and ultimately it might end being much more valuable than the prize money.
It’s obvious that this formula for those clubs works fine and if they manage to get at the end of the road there’s a clear reward for their effort.
The Basketball Champions League also creates one more argument for the Final Four, since this is a format that multiplies interest and creates an event, which can be much more marketable than a playoffs series, which pretty much concerns two fan-bases.
So after seven years the BCL has delivered what it was expected to and the only question surrounding the competition is what next? What more can Bonn expect other than getting better results in their domestic league and also defending their title? And how a club like Burgos after two BCL titles somehow managed to get relegated?
That should be the next step that not only the Basketball Champions League, but European basketball in general has to address. For now, Telekom Baskets Bonn is on the map and can enjoy the moment…