Friday, September 22, 2023

Unicaja’s return to the Euroleague, closer?

This agreement refers to the so-called “windows”, the qualifying phases for the national team tournaments that take place during the season and for which the national leagues stop, the Eurocup and the Basketball Champions League, but not the Euroleague. Thus, the Euroleague matches coincided with those of the national teams, so the players involved in the continental competition could not attend the national team.

Darío Brizuela dribbles the ball during a game last season at the Martín Carpena in the Basketball Champions League. BCL

This represents a very important step forward in FIBA-EuroLeague relations. Both entities have also confirmed that “they will continue debating over the next twelve months to reach mutually acceptable solutions for the good of basketball in Europe and throughout the world” and add that they will not make any further comments on the matter for the moment.

Can Unicaja play the Euroleague from 2025?

For a couple of years the long-awaited agreement has been on the table whereby the Basketball Champions League (BCL), a competition currently played by Unicaja in Europe, is linked in some way to the Eurocup and the Euroleague, which would end with the current division of European basketball into two independent entities.

The president, Antonio Jesús López Nieto, was clear when he assured days ago that “In the current ecosystem we do not consider playing the Euroleague. If there is a different framework in the future, Unicaja will consider it”… Well, that moment of change, that “different framework” seems to be on its way.

For now they are all hypotheses, but a good sports role in the current BCL could be the necessary passport to opt for a place in the Euroleague, which would no longer be a private preserve and it would become a competition with promotions and relegations based on the sporting merits of its participating teams. 2025? 2026?… We will have to be very attentive.


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