North European Basketball League
The North European Basketball League, or Northern 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.
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.
|Season||Winner||Finalist||Total teams||Total countries|
|1999||Žalgiris Kaunas||ASK/Brocēni/LMT Riga||8||5|
|1999–2000||CSKA Moscow||Lietuvos rytas Vilnius||14||9|
|2000–01||Ural Great Perm||Žalgiris Kaunas||16||12|
|2001–02||Lietuvos rytas Vilnius||Ural Great Perm||31||19|
|2002–03||UNICS Kazan||Lietuvos rytas Vilnius||4||3|
- NEBL slogan: Break the ice! 20 April 2000 The Baltic Times.