North European Basketball League

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The official basketball ball of the North European Basketball League (NEBL).

The North European Basketball League, or Northern European Basketball League (NEBL), was a short-lived regional professional basketball league. It was founded in 1998, by Šarūnas Marčiulionis. The league was the first commercial project of a regional league in Europe, and initially intended for participation of the best basketball teams from five countries - Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Sweden, and Finland.

History[edit]

In 1999, the first North European Basketball League competition took place, involving eight teams, from the aforementioned countries. Eventually, the tournament started to lose its regional characteristics, as it began 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 the 2001–02 season's tournament. The Final Four of the NEBL, was always played in Vilnius, Lithuania.

By 2002, top clubs like CSKA Moscow, Žalgiris, and Maccabi, had lost their interest in the competition, in favor of the newly organized, and much more commercially attractive, EuroLeague. In the season 2002–03 season, a body (group stage) of the tournament wasn't held - the four best teams of the Northern Conference FIBA Champions Cup played for the last NEBL title in a Final Four.

The NEBL would later be transformed (since 2004) into Baltic Basketball League (BBL), with basketball teams from Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia participating in it.

Seasons[edit]

Season Winner Final score Finalist Total teams Total countries
1999 (Promo) Lithuania Žalgiris Kaunas 83–81 Latvia ASK/Brocēni/LMT Riga 8 5
2000 Russia CSKA Moscow 95–77 Lithuania Lietuvos rytas Vilnius 14 9
2000–01 Russia Ural Great Perm 88–81 Lithuania Žalgiris Kaunas 16 12
2001–02 Lithuania Lietuvos rytas Vilnius 79–74 Russia Ural Great Perm 31 19
2002–03 Russia UNICS Kazan 93–90 Lithuania Lietuvos rytas Vilnius 4 3

External links[edit]