In a move that could turn the battle between Euroleague and FIBA on its head, the ACB [Liga Endesa] has reportedly decided to side with the Euroleague.
The Spanish media outlet, Encestando reported that ACB clubs preferred the Euroleague with 14 teams in favour and three [Estudiantes, Joventut Badalona and Bilbao] undecided. None of the 18 teams voted to side with the FIBA Basketball Champions League.
And with the Spanish league, arguably the strongest domestic competition in Europe siding with the Euroleague, whom themselves are based in Barcelona, it leaves FIBA reeling as teams from Germany, Lithuania and Turkey have all sided with the Euroleague to compete in the second tier Eurocup.
Italy originally sided with Euroleague as well but under instruction from Italian Olympic Committee president Giovanni Malagò, are retreating to the neutral fence.
FIBA have stated via a press release that any nation deciding to side with Euroleague Basketball could face suspension from international competition. Spain are currently Eurobasket champions and Lithuania will be competing at this summer’s Rio Olympics.
Both nations have signalled their intentions to play in next season’s Eurocup with Real Madrid, Barcelona and Laboral Kutxa already in the Euroleague along with Lithuanian side Zalgiris as A-licence clubs.