The 2010-2011 season of MasterCard Baltic Basketball league was presented today in Vilnius. It will be the seventh season of BBL. Board  members of the league shared their thoughts about the upcoming season and answered questions.

Head of the board, Sarunas Kliokys,  said, that BBL will have a smaller budget this season although costs have increased. BBL director Romualdas Brazauskas was hopeful that this MasterCard BBL season will be very interesting. „This season is experimental in some case, because we have more teams,  the geography of the tournament has expanded, so, it will be a good experience for us, and all teams. We are ready to accept this challenge. We ‘ll see, whether such a tournament format will be successful“.

MasterCard BBL season will begin with the traditional two-days BBL Cup tournament . The opening event will take place in Tartu (Estonia)  on September 24th-25th. The participants will be: Lietuvos Rytas, Ventspils, Kalev/Cramo and TU/Rock.

The regular season of MasterCard BBL will start on September 28th in Elite Division, on October 12th in Challenge Cup. 24 teams from Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Sweden and Kazakhstan will compete this season.

Elite Division Participants are: BBL champion Zalgiris Kaunas, vice-champion Lietuvos rytas Vilnius, Siauliai, Nevezis, Perlas and Rudupis, Ventspils, VEF Riga, Valmiera and Liepajas Lauvas, Kalev/Cramo, TU/Rock and TTU,  and Dolphins from Sweden.

12 teams, excluding  Zalgiris and Lietuvos rytas, will play in a round-robin format. The six best teams after the regular season will qualify for the Play-off phase. The winners of the Play-offs will qualify for the. BBL Final Four will be held on April 8 th -9 th .

MasterCard BBL Elite division Regular season winners will share a prize of 15,000 euros.

Challenge Cup Participants are:
A: Neptunas, Alytus, Naglis – Adakris,  Jelgava, Atyrau Barsy from Kazakhstan.
B: Juventus, Techasas, Sakalai, Kaunas,Tarvas.

Three best teams from each group will qualify for the second phase of the tournament, after which four best teams will go to the semifinal games. The winner of the semifinal will play for
Champions tittle, the loser of the semifinal will play for the 3-4 places.

The last two teams of the Elite Division will play relegation games with Challenge cup winner and finalist for the right to play in the Elite Division next season.

All the games of the new BBL season will be played with Molten ball. The contract with Molten was signed for two years with a possibility to extend it for one more year.

Source: BBL