By Eurohoops team/ firstname.lastname@example.org
The VTB United League will undergo some changes in the 2019-2020 season, according to a report by Izvestia.
The league’s teams are expected to be reduced from 14 to 13 due to the departure of Latvian club VEF Riga. The team plans to shift its attention to the Latvian championship plus the Basketball Champions League.
There will be no replacement for Riga in VTB.
The other change has to to do with the playoffs. Until now, the winners in postseason phases were determined in best-of-five series. In 2019-2020, it will change into best-of-three.
This will take place due to the changes in the EuroLeague calendar and the participation of three Russian teams (reigning EL and VTB champion CSKA Moscow, VTB finalist Khimki Moscow and wild card owner Zenit St. Petersburg in the competition. Players of national teams will also have to finish their domestic league obligations earlier than usual due to the 2020 Olympic Games.
“The playoff format with three wins is more intriguing but the expansion of EuroLeague calendar affects the calendars of all domestic leagues,” Khimki General Manager Pavel Astakhov said to Izvestia. “In additions, three Russian clubs will be playing in the competition. In any case, this isn’t the final decision. We will calmly discuss the issue at the League council on July 14.”
Izvestia says that all changes are expected to be approved in the upcoming VTB council.