The rocky road to the FIBA Basketball Champions League is now complete and all we await if the for opening tip off of the inaugural season later in the year. Today the sport’s governing body completed the draw for the season, so we now know how the 32 teams will line up.
FIBA was locked in a battle with Euroleague over the first half of this year. The organizer of the largest hoops event in Europe did not want to relinquish control to the governing body, and for the most part major clubs back the Euroleague and Eurocup. However, FIBA threatened drastic action against 14 national federations, including banning national teams from FIBA organized international tournaments.
In the end, all-out war was averted. The Euroleague and Eurocup will continue largely as they have in recent years, with the major clubs opting to play in them. One notable exception is French and Italian clubs, with the latter affecting the Eurocup 7 tournament earlier today.
The governing body said it wanted an inclusive competition, and that is certainly the case with 48 teams lining up from a total of 31 European leagues.
Among the clubs are 17 national champions, including the winners of the French and Belgian leagues. 24 clubs comprise the Regular Season, with the remaining eight places to be decided through a qualifying competition featuring 24 clubs over two qualifiers.
FIBA got sufficient backing from federations to press ahead with the Basketball Champions League, and the tournament will get underway on 27 September with the Qualification Round while the Regular Season tips off on 20 October 2016.
With the competition now set, here is the draw for the first FIBA Basketball Champions League:
Winner of Donar/Tartu vs Winner of Bakken/Sassari
Winner of Rilski/Tsmoki vs Nahariya
Umana Reyer Venezia
Winner of Kataja/Sodertalje vs Spirou
Lukoli vs Winner of Oradea/Prievidza
Usak vs AEK/Cluj
Winner of Benfica/Varese vs Szolnoki
Winner of Igokea/Mornar vs Besiktas
MHP Riesen vs Winner of Porto/Juventus
Qualification Round 1
Bakken Bears vs Sassari
FC Porto vs Juventus
Benfica vs Varese
Donar vs BC TartuKataja vs Sodertalje
Rilski vs Tsmoki
Igokea vs Mornar Bar
Oradea vs Prievizda
Petrolina AEK vs Cluj
Qualification Round 2
MHP Riesen vs Winner of QR1 Game 2 (Porto or Juventus)
Benfica vs Szolnoki
Winner of QR1 Game 5 (Kataja or Sodertalje) vs Spirou Charleroi
Winner of QR1 Game 4 (Donar or Tartu) vs Winner of QR1 Game 1 (Bakken Bears or Sassari)
Muratbay Usak vs Winner of QR1 Game 4 (Petrolina AEK or Cluj)
Winner of QR1 Game 1 (Rilski or Tsmoki) vs Nahariya (1st game played in Nahariya due to facility issues)
Lukoil Academik vs Winner of QR1 Game 3 (Oradea or Prievizda)
Winner of QR1 Game 2 (Igokea or Mornar Bar) vs Besiktas