European winners 2015: major leagues roundup

European winnersThe 2015 season has finished in most domestic leagues, deciding the European winners this season and as the saying goes, there can only be one winner. Around the continent the leagues threw up the typical blend of excitement and nail biting competition and many went right down to the wire. Highlights abound of course, but there are a few standout results.

For example, few will forget Real Madrid claiming an historic treble of Euroleague, Spanish Cup, and Liga Endesa, although Barcelona fans may indeed be quick to forget as they lost the ACB to Los Blancos in terrible fashion. Madrid swept the series to inflict a big win over their Catalan rivals. Results in the country where east meets west will also be remembered as Pinar Karsiyaka Izmir shocked Fenerbahce Ulker and Anadolue Efes, pushing past the Istanbul giants to claim the Turkish TBL.

In Greece Olympiacos quickly got over losing the Euroleague final where they failed to end as European winners to sweep great rival Panathinaikos in the championship series. It was only the second A1 crown for the Piraeus giant since 1997 and handed Panathinaikos a season to forget. CSKA Moscow continued its dominance of the VTB United League by easing to the title for the fourth consecutive season. Russian clubs in the chasing pack are making huge strides, but CSKA remains the club to beat it seems.

Brose Baskets Bamberg has been a dominant force in the German BBL Bundesliga in recent years, but in 2014 the club yielded the title to Bayern Munich. In 2015 Bamberg had the chance for revenge and defeated Bayern in a nail-biting finals series that handed the club its fifth title in six years. Limoges CSP poured heartache upon Strasbourg again as the club won the French ProA for a second season in a row. Limoges is now the team to beat in France, while Strasbourg needs to pick itself up after losing three consecutive finals.

Oostende continued to assert its superiority over Belgian league by winning the Scooore League at the expense of Mons-Hainaut. The club has now won the last four titles and will attempt yet again to make its way in the Euroleague. In neighbouring Holland the DBL has been far more open of late, with three different winners in as many seasons. SPM Shoeters Den Bosch claimed the honour this term, but in the coming campaign there will be a handful of clubs vying for success once again.

One of the shocks of recent years anywhere in Europe came in Israel, where 51 time champion Maccabi Tel Aviv was ousted at the semi-final stage. The tag of giant killer went to Hapoel Eilat in a series that sent shockwaves across Israeli hoops. However, Eilat could not repeat their heroics in the finals and slipped to Hapoel Jerusalem, handing the club its first ever Winner League title.

Cedevita Zagreb defeated old foe Cibona in the championship final to decide the Croatian A1 this season, it was the second win in as many years for the club. CEZ Nymburk maintained its iron like grip over the Czech NBL by winning the title once again, in a remarkable run the club has now won the last 12 titles. In the Italian Serie A, Dinamo Sassari made history by claiming its first ever league crown with a finals win over Grissin Bon Reggio Emilia. It truly was a game without history as neither club had so much competed a finals series before, let alone won the league.

There has been plenty of upheaval in the Polish TBL in recent seasons and one club to take advantage of that has been Stelmet Zielona Góra. The club bounced back from losing last year’s finals against PGE Turow to exact revenge this campaign and make it two titles in three years. Partizan NIS Belgrade finally let go of the Serbian league title (KLS) as arch rival Crvena Zvezda Belgrade finally won top spot. It was the first time the club had won the league, all the sweeter at the expense of Partizan.

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