Champions League clubs named by FIBA

Champions LeagueThe FIBA Europe Champions League sparked a political tussle in European Basketball, but the sport’s governing body managed to get many clubs to commit to the format eventually. While the giants of European hoops remain in the Euroleague and Eurocup, the Champions League presents a compelling competition that gives smaller clubs a chance to compete on the continental stage.

Today, FIBA announced the teams that will compete in the inaugural Champions League season through 2016/2017. 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.

The 24 clubs with a place in the Regular Season are:

ASVEL Lyon Villeurbanne (FRA)
SIG Basket Strasbourg (FRA)
AS Monaco (FRA)
Le Mans Sarthe (FRA)
BK Banvit (TUR)
Pinar Karsiyaka (TUR)
Aris Thessaloniki (GRE)
Sidigas Avellino (ITA)
Fraport Skyliners (GER)
EWE Baskets Oldenburg (GER)
PAOK (GRE)
Umana Reyer Venezia (ITA)
BC Telenet Oostende (BEL)
Maccabi Rishon Le Zion (ISR)
Cibona Zagreb (CRO)
EZ Basketball Nymburk (CZE)
Neptunas (LTU)
Rosa Radom (POL)
Helios Suns (SLO)
Mega Leks (SRB)
Iberostar Tenerife (ESP)
Avtodor Saratov (RUS)
BC Khimik (UKR)
Ventspils (LAT)

The clubs of the Qualification Round:

Qualification Round 1
Juventus (LTU)
Kataja (FIN)
Igokea (BIH)
Rilski Sportist (BUL)
Tsmoki Minsk (BLR)
Donar Groningen (NED)
KK Mornar Bar (MNE)
Tartu likool/Rock (EST)
CS Municipal Oradea (ROU)
U-Mobitelco BT Cluj-Napoca (ROU)
BC Prievidza (SVK)
Bakken Bears (DEN)
Soedertalje Kings (SWE)
FC Porto (POR)
Benfica (POR)
Petrolina AEK (CYP)

Qualification Round 2
Lukoil Academic (BUL)
Szolnoki Olaj (HUN)
Proximus Spirou Charleroi (BEL)
Besiktas Sompo Japan (TUR)
Ironi Nahariya (ISR)
Muratbey Usak Sportif (TUR)
Openjobmetis Varese (ITA)
MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg (GER)

The Basketball Champions League starts on 27 September with the Qualification Round while the Regular Season tips off on 20 October 2016.

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