Mediterranean Basketball League: a vision to revive basketball

Greek basketball federation, and former FIBA Europe, president George Vasilakopoulos is behind the idea of creating a united Mediterranean League which will include teams from Greece, Italy, Serbia, Turkey, Israel, Cyprus and Bulgaria.

The idea goes way back and many basketball people all over Europe supported the creation of such a league but it never went through. After the failed Balcan regional league with smaller club some countries are ready to take the next step, possibly even create the league from next season.

The reasons behind this idea is the lack of competition in domestic league. In Greece no team can even question Olympiacos, let alone Panathinaikos, authority. In Turkey the Fenerbahce-Efes Pilsen couple are playing in the finals every year. In Italy Montepaschi Siena has created a dynasty of its own. In Serbia and the entire former Yugoslavia PArtizan dominates while Maccabi Tel Aviv rarely loses a championship in Israel while in Cyprus its either AE Limassol, APOEL Nicosia or Keravnos Strovolos year after year.

Just imagine a league with a regular season and play-offs consisting of:

Panathinaikos
Olympiacos
Montepaschi Siena
Maccabi Tel Aviv
Fenerbahce
Efes Pilsen
Galatasaray
Besiktas
Turk Telekom
Partizan
Hemofarm
Maroussi
Aris
AE Limassol
APOEL Nicosia
Hapoel Jerusalem etc…

The plan is for each country to be represented by its finest clubs who will not be playing in the regular seasons of their domestic league (if it possible to be applied for every country) and instead play the regular season games in the MEditerranean Leagur while join their domestic league once the play-offs begin.

The new League-product could attract large TV networks from many countries and even international sports networks while the difficult (or more difficult than the domestic ones) games will generate fan interest which will boost season and normal tickets sales.

According to Greek Basketball Federation Sources there will be a minimum of four Greek clubs in the new League while Greek A1 will reduce its number of teams to create a more versatile and professional league.