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 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.

History[edit]

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[edit]

Season Winner Finalist Total teams Total countries
1999 Lithuania Žalgiris Kaunas Latvia ASK/Brocēni/LMT Riga 8 5
1999–2000 Russia CSKA Moscow Lithuania Lietuvos rytas Vilnius 14 9
2000–01 Russia Ural Great Perm Lithuania Žalgiris Kaunas 16 12
2001–02 Lithuania Lietuvos rytas Vilnius Russia Ural Great Perm 31 19
2002–03 Russia UNICS Kazan Lithuania Lietuvos rytas Vilnius 4 3

External links[edit]