Supriya Ghosh (Editor)

Greek Basket League

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Sport  Basketball
Inaugural season  1927–28
No. of teams  14
Founded  1927
Commissioner  Michalis Mellis
Country  Greece
Greek Basket League

The Greek Basket League (GBL), often referred to as the Greek Basketball League, Greek A1 Basketball League, or Greek Basketball Championship (originally called Panhellenic Basketball Championship), is the 1st tier professional basketball league in Greece. It is run by HEBA (Greek: ΕΣΑΚΕ), under the legal authority of the Hellenic Basketball Federation (E.O.K.). The league is also known as the Stoiximan.gr Greek Basket League for sponsorship reasons.

Contents

It consists of 14 teams and runs from October to June, with teams playing 26 games each during the regular season, and the top 8 teams then competing in the playoffs. The first official Greek Basketball Championship was held in the 1927–28 season. The league first held a playoff round in the 1986–87 season.

The league has always been ranked as one of the top 3-5 level national domestic leagues in European basketball, since league rankings began. For further information, see historical European national basketball league rankings, and European national basketball league rankings.

History

Basketball first came to Greece in the year 1910. By the 1927–28 season, the first official Greek basketball championship began. The league was originally organized by the Hellenic Amateur Athletic Association (SEGAS). There have been four different official championship eras. The first era was the Panhellenic Championship (Πανελλήνιο Πρωτάθλημα), which lasted from the 1927–28 to 1962–63 seasons, when the champions of every regional district played each other to decide the Greek Champion. The second era started in the 1963–64 season, when the A National Category (Α' Εθνική Κατηγορία), or Alpha National Category was founded.

In 1969, the Hellenic Basketball Federation (E.O.K.) took over the duties of overseeing the competition, and did so until the year 1992. The third era of the championship existed between the 1986–87 and 1991–92 seasons, when the first division A1 National Category (Α1 Εθνική Κατηγορία), with a regular season and playoffs, and the second division A2 National Category (Α2 Εθνική Κατηγορία) were formed. The 1988–89 season, marked the first time that Greek Basket League teams were allowed to have foreign players on their rosters.

The fourth era of the championship began in the 1992–93 season, when the Hellenic Basketball Clubs Association (HEBA) took over the competition and renamed the first division the HEBA A1 (ΕΣΑΚΕ Α1). The league was then renamed to Greek Basket League (Ελληνική Μπάσκετ Λιγκ), starting with the 2010–11 season.

The Greek League has been one of the most competitive basketball leagues in Europe through the years, and it was widely regarded as the second best national domestic league in the world, after only the NBA, in the 1990s decade. It currently ranks among the best national domestic leagues in the world (excluding the NBA), such as Liga ACB in Spain, VTB United League (counts as the domestic league for Russian clubs), and BSL in Turkey. It has always been considered one of the top 3-5 European national domestic leagues under the historical European national basketball league rankings and European national basketball league rankings.

The league has several European historical basketball powers, which also belong to some of the most traditional European basketball clubs, especially the EuroLeague giants Panathinaikos and Olympiacos, which are two of the most successful European basketball clubs of all-time. Also, Aris Thessaloniki, led by Nikos Galis, Panagiotis Giannakis, and Slobodan "Lefteris" Subotić, was the dominant Greek club, and one of the most powerful European teams in the 1980s. Other clubs that have had significant success throughout the history of Greek basketball, as well as success in European basketball, are AEK (which had great success in the 1960s) and PAOK, while Panellinios was one of the premiere basketball clubs in Europe in the early days of European-wide club basketball, in the 1950s. The first five aforementioned clubs (Panathinaikos, Olympiacos, Aris, AEK, and PAOK), are also the most widely supported by fans in Greece.

Despite the championship having been contested 76 times, only nine different clubs have won it so far. The dominating club has always been Panathinaikos, having claimed the championship 34 times. Since the foundation of the Alpha National Category in the 1963–64 season, only two teams have participated in every season of the competition, Panathinaikos and Aris.

The main elements of the logo were changed in 2013.

Promotion and relegation

The championship, in its current form, has been organized since the 1992–93 season by the Hellenic Basketball Clubs Association (HEBA). 30 pro Greek basketball teams are split into two different divisions. The first division championship, which is called the "A1", in which 14 teams compete for the Greek National Championship, and the second division championship, which is called the "A2", in which 16 teams compete for the second division crown. The bottom two place finishing teams each year in the A1 division standings are relegated to the A2 division, due to poor performance. While conversely, the top two teams each year from the A2 division are promoted to the A1 division, due to good performance.

Arena standards

Currently, Greek clubs must play their home games in arenas that seat at least 1,000 people in order to play Greek domestic league matches. Several Greek clubs have two arenas that they primarily use. One for domestic Greek League matches, and one for European-wide matches.

Greek clubs that play in the EuroLeague or the EuroCup, must play their home games in those leagues in arenas that fit the arena standards of those leagues. Currently, a 5,000 seat arena minimum for the EuroLeague, and a 3,000 seat arena minimum for the EuroCup.

Foreign player regulations

Greek Basket League teams were first allowed to have foreign (non-Greek) players on their rosters in the 1988–89 season.

Under the league's current foreign player rules, Greek Basket League teams must have at least 6 Greek players on their active 12 man game rosters. Each team is allowed to have up to 6 foreign (non-Greek) players, on their active 12 man game roster. There are no restrictions on the number of foreign players allowed by country of origin. Meaning that for example, any team in the league could sign up to 6 American players, or up to 6 Canadian players, or up to 6 players from European countries, etc.

Current clubs

The clubs for the 2016–17 season:

  • *Arenas that meet Euroleague Basketball Company European arena requirements, and where the clubs play their home games at if they are competing in the EuroLeague and/or the EuroCup.
  • Championship history

  • 1927–28 to 1962–63  Panhellenic Championship
  • 1963–64 to 1985–86  A National Category
  • 1986–87 to 1991–92  A1 National Category
  • 1992–93 to 2011–12  HEBA A1
  • 2012–13 to present  Greek Basket League
  • Number of seasons in the A and A1 National Categories by club (1963–64 - 2016–17)

    The number of times that clubs participated in the top A National Category, while it existed from the 1963–64 season to the 1985–86 season. As well as the number of times that clubs have participated in the top A1 National Category, since it began with the 1986–87 season. Only two clubs, Panathinaikos and Aris, have played in the top division every year since its formation.

  • 1963–64 to 1985–86: A National Category
  • 1986–87 to 1991–92: A1 National Category
  • 1992–93 to 2009–10: HEBA A1
  • 2010–11 to present: Greek Basket League
  • 1963–64 to 1985–86: A National Category
  • 1986–87 to 1991–92: A1 National Category
  • 1992–93 to 2009–10: HEBA A1
  • 2010–11 to present: Greek Basket League
  • EuroLeague

  • The years in which clubs from the Greek Basketball League competed in Europe's first tier continental-wide professional club basketball competition, the EuroLeague (and FIBA SuproLeague):
  • Panathinaikos has made 11 modern-era EuroLeague Final Four appearances (with 12 top 4 place finishes overall, including the 1971–72 season), has played in the EuroLeague Final 7 times, and has won the EuroLeague championship 6 times. Olympiacos has made 9 EuroLeague Final Four appearances, has played in the EuroLeague Final 7 times, and has won the EuroLeague championship three times. AEK has made 1 modern-era EuroLeague Final Four appearance (with 3 top 4 finishes overall, including the 1965–66 season, and the 2000–01 Euroleague Basketball season), and has played in the EuroLeague Final once. Aris has made 3 EuroLeague Final Four appearances. PAOK has also played in the EuroLeague Final Four once.
  • FIBA Saporta Cup

  • Greek clubs that finished in the top 8 places of the now defunct Saporta Cup (1966–67 to 2001–02), which was the second-tier European-wide continental competition:
  • FIBA Korać Cup

  • Greek clubs that finished in the top 8 places of the now defunct Korać Cup (1971–72 to 2001–02), which was the third-tier European-wide continental competition:
  • EuroCup

  • Greek clubs that finished in the top 8 places of the EuroCup (2002–03 – present), which is the second-tier European-wide continental competition:
  • Major Sponsors and supporters over the years

  • OPAP
  • Scratch
  • Stoiximan.gr
  • Champion
  • Spalding
  • Cosmote
  • Germanos
  • Visit Greece
  • Gatorade
  • References

    Greek Basket League Wikipedia