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North European Basketball League

File:NEBL-Spalding-basket-ball.png
The official basketball ball of the North European Basketball League (NEBL)

The North European Basketball League (NEBL) was a short-lived basketball league founded in 1998 by Šarūnas Marčiulionis. The league was the first commercial project of regional league in Europe, and initially intended for participation of the best basketball teams from five countries - Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Sweden and Finland. In 1999, the first competition took place involving eight teams from aforementioned countries. Eventually the tournament started to lose its regional characteristics involving more clubs from Central (Poland, Czech Republic), Western (Denmark, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, UK) and Eastern (Russia, Ukraine, Belarus) Europe; then, from Southern Europe (Bulgaria, Macedonia, Romania, Serbia) and even from Israel and Turkey. There were 31 teams from 19 countries (from Israel to UK) participating in 2001–2002 tournament. The Final Four of the NEBL was always played in Vilnius, Lithuania.

By 2002, top clubs like CSKA Moscow, Žalgiris and Maccabi lost their interest in the competition in favor to newly organized and much more commercially attractive Euroleague.

In season 2002–2003 a body (group stage) of the tournament wasn't held - the four best teams of Northern Conference FIBA Champions Cup played for last NEBL title in Final Four.

The NEBL would later be transformed (since 2004) into today's Baltic Basketball League with the ten best basketball teams from Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia participating in it.

Seasons

Season Winner Finalist Total teams Total countries
1998-1999 23x15px Žalgiris 23x15px ASK/Brocēni/LMT 8 5
1999-2000 23x15px CSKA Moscow 23x15px BC Lietuvos Rytas 14 9
2000-2001 23x15px Ural Great 23x15px Žalgiris 16 12
2001-2002 23x15px BC Lietuvos Rytas 23x15px Ural Great 31 19
2002-2003 23x15px UNICS Kazan 23x15px BC Lietuvos Rytas 4 3

External links