Leicester Riders place had been confirmed in the Basketball Champions League for the upcoming 2018/19 season, the first British team in European competition for over a decade.
Leicester Riders are one of nineteen current national champions among the 56 teams which will take part in the 2018-19 Basketball Champions League which gets under way on 20 September with the first of three qualifying rounds ahead of Regular Season tip off on 9 October.
The final lineup was validated and confirmed by the Board of Basketball Champions League meeting at the House of Basketball today.
This year 32 teams will contest the Regular Season with six qualifiers joining 26 directly qualified clubs. They will play in four groups of 8 teams each with the top four in each group going through to a home and away Round of 16 ahead of the Quarter-Finals which will determine the Final Four. The overall winner will earn the coveted €1 million prize money.
Clubs from across the continent will challenge defending champions AEK for the title. The full line-up is as follows (alphabetically, per country):
Qualification Rounds (alphabetically)
1st round (the 12 winners will qualify for the 2nd round):
AEK Larnaca (CYP), Aris (GRE), Avtodor Saratov (RUS), Bakken Bears (DEN), CSM Oradea (ROU), Dinamo Tbilisi (GEO), Donar Groningen (NED), FC Porto (POR), Fribourg Olympic (SUI), Hapoel Tel Aviv (ISR), Kalev Cramo (EST), Karhu Basket Kauhajoki (FIN), Leicester Riders (GBR), Lukoil Levski (BUL), Movistar Estudiantes (ESP), Nizhny Novgorod (RUS), Norrköping Dolphins (SWE), Polski Cukier Torun (POL), Proximus Spirou Charleroi (BEL), Red October Cantù (ITA), Siauliai (LTU), Szolnoki Olaj (HUN), Telenet Giants Antwerp (BEL), Tsmoki Minsk (BLR).
2nd round (the 12 winners from the 1st round will face each other)
Directly qualified for 3rd round (the 6 winners will qualify for the Regular Season):
JIP Pardubice (CZE), Lietkabelis Panevezys (LTU), medi Bayreuth (GER), Nanterre 92 (FRA), Sakarya Buyuksehir (TUR), UCAM Murcia (ESP).
Regular Season (alphabetically)
AEK (GRE), Anwil Wloclawek (POL), Banvit (TUR), Besiktas Sompo Japan (TUR), Brose Baskets Bamberg (GER), CEZ Nymburk (CZE), Eskisehir Basket (TUR), Hapoel Jerusalem (ISR), Hapoel UNET Holon (ISR), Iberostar Tenerife (ESP), JDA Dijon Basket (FRA), Le Mans Sarthe Basket (FRA), MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg (GER), Montakit Fuenlabrada (ESP), Neptunas Klaipeda (LTU), Oostende (BEL), Opava (CZE), PAOK (GRE), Petrol Olimpija (SLO), Promitheas Patras (GRE), Segafredo Virtus Bologna (ITA), Sidigas Avellino (ITA), SIG Strasbourg (FRA), Telekom Baskets Bonn (GER), Umana Reyer Venezia Mestre (ITA), Ventspils (LAT).
Basketball Champions League CEO Patrick Comninos said the 2018-19 lineup is evidence that the competition is strengthening and growing based on all measures. It remains true to its goal of delivering a competitive European competition which reflects basketball right across the continent and is open to all clubs which qualify on merit through their domestic league performances.
“The first two seasons of the competition were an outstanding success and the strength of this year’s field suggests that it will get even tougher on the court and even more fascinating for hundreds of thousands of fans across Europe who follow at arenas, through great TV coverage and via social media,” he said.
An initial draw sorting the Qualification Rounds and the Regular Season phase will take place at the House of Basketball on Wednesday 11 July. The ceremony can be followed live on championsleague.basketball from 11.00 CET.