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So the ULEB Cup will be massively expanded next season and will have from 48 to 60 teams instead of 24. This might cause the level of the competition dropping. On the other hand there are many clubs that fail to qualify to the Euroleague and have to play in FIBA Europe which is very low level. It is known that Lithuania will be given 3 spots but only one team will play and they are ?iauliai because ?algiris and Lietuvos Rytas will play in the EL and only ?iauliai meet the requirements. Ukraine should have two places instead of zero. That's a good move since they have two good teams but didn't play in ULEB competitions. I think there shouldn't be more than 48 teams if they want to keep high level of the competition.

Your views please.
Unfortunatelly replies to this topic were lost but we have some news.

Quote:In accordance with the wishes expressed by the ULEB Assembly at its meeting in Slovenia earlier this month, ULEB has studied in-depth the proposed expansion of the ULEB Cup and has confirmed the participation of at least 48 teams in the competition next season. The popular demand on the part of clubs across Europe to take part in the ULEB Cup means that the competition will now be played for basketball fans in Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Serbia, Spain, Turkey and also in nine new countries that didn't play ULEB Cup last season, Austria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, England, Estonia, Montenegro, Portugal, Switzerland, and the Ukraine - a total of at least 24 countries. The criteria applied to the selection of the teams has taken into account both current and historical sporting success to assure the broadest and strongest possible competition. The national ranking is the basis on which the majority of teams have been selected, while wild card choices have been employed to recognize the historical and strategic importance of other teams. Due to the great amount of requests by clubs to be part of the ULEB Cup, more teams are still being considered. A definitive configuration will be decided before the competition's regular season draw at the end of the month in Jesolo, Italy.

It is good to see new countries included so it will take the level of basketball up there as clubs will be investing. It will mean a slight decrease of ULEB Cup level but it will benefit in the future.
Glad to see England being involved! <!-- sSmile -->[img]{SMILIES_PATH}/smile.gif[/img]<!-- sSmile -->
Any idea who will represent England?
Possibly Poujoulat Heat Guildford as they won the BBL (British Basketball League), and I take it the ULEB teams will be decided from this league as this is the biggest league in Britain, as there is also other leagues which are split into countries.
#6 published preliminary list of teams for the next season:

Spain - Joventut, Akasvayu, Gran Canaria, Pamesa

France - SLUC, ASVEL, Strasbourg, Elan Bearnais

Russia - Unics, Khimki, Dinamo Moscow

Greece - Panionios, Panellinios, PAOK

Turkey - Turk Telekom, Galatasaray, Besiktas

Germany - Bamberg or RheinEnergie, Dragons, ALBA

Serbia - Partizan or Crvena Zvezda, FMP, Hemofarm

Belgium - Telindus, Spirou, Giants

Italy - Benetton, Climamio, Tisettanta

Israel - Hapoel Jerusalem, Hapoel Galil Elion

Poland - Turow, Slask

Holland - Eiffel Towers, Capitals

Latvia - ASK, Ventspils

Estonia - Rock, Kalev

Ukraine - Kyiv

Croatia - Zadar

Lithuania - Å iauliai

Bulgaria - Lukoil Akademic

Czech Republic - CEZ Nymburk

Portugal - Ovarense

Austria - Allianz Swans

Switzerland - Benetton

Montenegro - Budu?nost

England - Eagles

Sweden - 08 Human Rights
The official list was unveiled by ULEB.

Austria - Allianz Swans Gmunden

Belgium - Telindus, Spirou, Antwerp

Bosnia - Bosna

Bulgaria - Lukoil Academic

Croatia - Zadar

Czech Republic - Nymburk

England - Guildford Heat

Estonia - Kalev

France - Nancy, Pau-Orthez, Strasbourg, Elan Chalon, Asvel

Germany - Alba, Ludwigsburg, Skyliners, TBD, TBD

Greece - Panionios, Panellinios

Israel - Hapoel Jerusalem, Hapoel Galil Elion

Italy - Benetton, Fortitudo

Latvia - ASK Riga, Ventspils

Lithuania - ?iauliai

Montenegrp - Budocnost

Netherlands - Eiffel Towers, Groningen

Poland - Turow, Slask, Anwil

Romania - CSU Asesoft Ploiesti

Russia - Unics, Khimki, Dynamo, Dynamo Moscow Region

Serbia - Crvena Zvezda, FMP, Hemofarm

Spain - Joventut, Akasvayu, Gran Canaria, Pamesa

Switzerland - Benetton Fribourg

Turkey - Turk Telekom, Galatasaray, Besiktas

Ukraine - Kyiv, Azovmash

France, Germany and Spain get 5 spots. I think they got additional spots from the countries that didn't use the quota. For example Lithuania has 3 spots but only one team is playing. Some 'exotic' teams basketball wise. It will be interesting.
[quote name='"Luke":e6965']Possibly Poujoulat Heat Guildford as they won the BBL (British Basketball League), and I take it the ULEB teams will be decided from this league as this is the biggest league in Britain, as there is also other leagues which are split into countries.[/quote]

I was right then with England entry.

Do us proud! <!-- s:thup: -->[img]{SMILIES_PATH}/thup.gif[/img]<!-- s:thup: -->

Quote:British Basketball League champions Guildford Heat have been invited to take part in the prestigious Uleb Cup competition next season.

The club, who were only formed in 2005, will face some of Europe's top basketball clubs in the competition, won by Real Madrid last season.

Guildford chairman Andrew Bird said it was "a momentous day".

He added: "To be awarded a place is truly remarkable and speaks volumes for the progression of British basketball."

The competition features 54 of the top teams from 25 European nations.

The winners and runners-up have the chance to take part in the Euroleague, the most prestigious competition in European basketball.

Guildford Heat are the first BBL team to take part in European competition since the now-defunct Brighton Bears in 2003-04.

Guildford head coach Paul James, who led them to a league and cup double in their second season, said: "None of us should be under any illusions about the quality of opponents we will face in this competition.

"It will be hard going and may include travelling to some rather exotic places, but I can promise our supporters that regardless of the outcomes, I will have the team well prepared and as ready as possible to compete against all comers."

The Uleb Cup draw will be held on 30 June in Jesolo, Italy.
Giving spots to countries like England and Switzerland is a big "award". They should try and get most of it. First of all they will have an opportunity to attract better players because of playing in ULEB Cup. Even thought they will be destroyed by the likes of Joventut, Benetton, Pamesa etc. <!-- s:p -->[img]{SMILIES_PATH}/tongue.gif[/img]<!-- s:p --> but just playing with these club is a great experience. Hopefully this expansion will not fail when clubs refuse to play for financial difficulties.
Quote:Romanian League champion CSU Asesoft Ploiesti has replaced MMT Estudiantes in the 2007-08 ULEB Cup. Ploiesti will make history by joining the ULEB Cup, becoming the first Romanian team to take part in the competition. The club has been nearly unstoppable in its national competition, lifting four consecutive Romanian League trophies between 2004 and 2007. It also lifted the Romanian Cup title in 2006 and 2007. Moreover, Asesoft Ploiesti made history by winning the 2005 FIBA Europe Cup, downing Lokomotiv Rostov 74-75 in the title game thanks to late free throws by Vladimir Kuzmanovic, who earned MVP honors with 28 points.

MMT Estudiantes withdrew from the competition on Tuesday night, thanking the organization for considering the club for participation in the ULEB Cup. However the club had already prepared its economic and sports budget without planning on playing in European competition and it felt that it would not be able compete in a fully competitive way, Estudiantes explained in an official press release. Estudiantes, however, hopes to join ULEB competitions in the near future.

I think it is a positive move. Of Spanish teams are stronger but since Estudiantes declined the offer it is good to see even more countries included.
From next year the number of teams will be reduced to 32. The worst 8 teams after the first round in ULEB Cup will join FIBA Eurocup while Eurocup finalists will be rewarded with a place in next year's ULEB Cup.
[quote name='"Vilius":s9pkqsc8']From next year the number of teams will be reduced to 32. The worst 8 teams after the first round in ULEB Cup will join FIBA Eurocup while Eurocup finalists will be rewarded with a place in next year's ULEB Cup.[/quote]

what! this must be a joke. by this way first time we will see that two firms become in agreement. fiba is just trying to dropping the quality of its organizations. since suproleague, yes we know the differences between uleb cup and fiba eurocup but the relegating of 8 "worst" team is really humiliating. actually no need to fiba for club competitions. i consider this decision as a step for uniting of two big firms. i hope in the future there won't be an eurocup and it will be organized as cup 1, cup 2 , cup 3 etc.

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