By Johnny Askounis / [email protected]
Basketball Champions League CEO Patrick Comninos joined the BCL Coast To Coast podcast to discuss a variety of topics, including preparations for the 2021-22 season.
“The process is pretty clear. We have communicated with all the national federations and national leagues which organize competitions in their country of origin ”, he said explaining the plan for the next season, “Each federation has been informed of the number of teams it can enter in our competition and the stage of the competition in which these teams will participate. This is the result of the process that we have put in place since the first day of the competition, valuing the results on the court. Therefore, we have the access list, the country ranking which determines how the countries and leagues are positioned in our competition.
Next year’s lineup will be unveiled in the coming weeks.
“We have an overwhelming majority of teams that have played in the Basketball Champions League in the past. This tells us two things. These teams regularly finish among the first positions of their national competition. Second, they appreciate the collaboration, level of service and competitiveness provided by the Basketball Champions League ”, said Comninos, “We will conclude this process at the end of the month when the board of directors of the last week of June validates the participation for the next season. And then we’ll start the usual preparations with the draw in early July and all the relevant planning for the next season. “
The coming season will be the sixth in FIBA’s first European club competition. Unlike the previous five closing stages, the next championship crowning event could take place at a neutral site, the BCL CEO confirmed.
“It’s not automatic that fans run to the stadium or arena if the teams aren’t the most popular or the most attractive at another sports property. We recognize it. The reason we opted for the Final Four to take place on the grounds of one of the participating clubs was exactly that. This allowed us to work very closely with the club and the fans, and to maintain a level of organization, engagement and fan presence that was necessary for us as we built our competition ”, he underlined, “The only way to ensure that we can take the BCL Final Four, our flagship event, to the next level is to anticipate and plan accommodation well in advance. It is something that we are exploring. We are having discussions with a number of potential hosts, in this case of course it is no longer the club that is the host, but more the league, federation, arena and other entities. We need to find the most suitable candidate to move us in this direction. We hope to be able to announce the host of the Final Four 2022 soon. “
The next season will again feature 32 regular season teams, divided into eight groups. The best team from each group will advance directly to the round of 16, while the second and third teams from each group will battle for the remaining eight places in a best-of-three play-in series. The round of 16 will be a group stage for the second year in a row, but the quarter-final playoffs and the Final Four will follow in place of the Final Eight, which concluded the previous two seasons.
“We incorporated even more exciting games, in the sense that we really reward the group winners with direct participation in the Top 16. But then we wanted to make the fight for second and third just as exciting. said Comninos regarding the format changes, “Until the very last Gameday, every club will have the opportunity to continue playing after Christmas.”
Listen to the Coast To Coast podcast Episode 32: Patrick Comninos, CEO of the BCL.