Greek, Italian clubs recommit to Fiba Champions League

Six clubs from the top divisions in Greece and Italy have signed up to compete in the second season of the Basketball Champions League European competition, operated by global governing body Fiba.

AEK, Aris and PAOK of the Greece Basketball League have committed to the 2017-18 campaign, while Umana Reyer Venezia, Sidigas Avellino and Dinamo Sassari of Italy’s Lega Basket Serie A have also agreed to take part. All six teams competed in the inaugural Basketball Champions League.

Patrick Comninos, chief executive of the Basketball Champions League, said: “We are delighted to welcome back top teams representing two of the most competitive leagues in Europe who have once again qualified on the basis of their impressive performance on the court throughout the season. This decision reaffirms that this competition is offering clubs the ideal environment for competing at the highest level.”

Earlier this month, the board of the Basketball Champions League announced the number of participating teams in the second edition of the tournament would be cut from 40 to 32.

A maximum of 24 clubs will be granted a direct place for the 2017-18 season, while eight other teams will have to qualify. The qualification round will begin on September 19 ahead of the new regular season on October 10.

The draw for the qualification rounds, as well as the regular-season phase, will take place on July 11.