The Basketball Champions League has announced that Turkish club Darüssafaka, Spanish team RETAbet Bilbao and Lithuanian outfit Rytas Vilnius will join the competition for the 2020-21 season.
Darüssafaka has won two Turkish championships and also won the 2018 edition of the EuroCup, the second-tier club competition organised by the Euroleague Basketball governing body.
Bilbao has competed in the top-tier Euroleague in the past but from next season will join the Basketball Champions League, which is organised as a 50-50 joint partnership between the International Basketball Federation (Fiba) and 11 top European leagues. Bilbao reached the Spanish ACB play-offs last year.
Rytas Vilnius, meanwhile, had competed in the EuroLeague for a number of seasons but in recent years has played in the EuroCup. The club has five Lithuanian championships to its name.
Basketball Champions League chief executive Patrick Comninos said: “Their presence underscores the successful growth and development of the competition, and we are pleased to see more clubs convinced by the truly pan-European nature of the Basketball Champions League and its focus on providing a great international competition for clubs based on sport results and merit.
“We are also thrilled to see that more and more clubs with ambitions to win a top European trophy are choosing the Basketball Champions League to pursue their dreams.”
In January, Fiba signed a strategic partnership with US sports and media investors GCBH LP, which will provide funding and expertise to drive the development of the Basketball Champions League.
Organisers are planning to host a one-off ‘Final Eight’ tournament for the 2019-20 season from September 30 to October 4 after concluding that the league will not be able to finish the campaign as planned due to Covid-19. The 2020-21 campaign will be the fifth season of the competition.