Hapoel Jerusalem slated to play in Basketball Champions League Final Eight Tourney to end 2019/20 season in late September

The Basketball Champions League will culminate the 2019/20 season with a Final Eight Tournament between September 30 – October 4, 2020 at a location to be determined. Hapoel Jerusalem will be joined by Zaragoza, Nymburk, AEK, San Pablo Burgos, Turk Telekom, and the winners of the two outstanding games (JDA Dijon vs Nizhny Novgorod and Iberostar Tenerife vs Filou Oostende), still pending for the conclusion of the Round of 16, which will be played prior to the hosting of the Final Eight at a date to be confirmed. The competition will be single elimination with four quarterfinal games, a pair of semifinals and a final to crown the champion.

At the BCL Board Meeting that took place on Monday March 30 via videoconference, the Basketball Champions League took the decision to postpone all remaining games, originally scheduled from March to May 2020, in order to protect the health and safety of players, coaches, officials and fans.

The BCL Board discussed extensively the ongoing situation concerning the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the competition, and confirmed the following conditions as prerequisites in order for the BCL Season to resume in the event that FIBA would lift the suspension of all its competitions as per the decision taken on March 12 and confirmed at the FIBA’s Central Board on March 26-27, 2020:

  • In order to protect the health and guarantee the safety of players, coaches, officials and fans: sport activities to be permitted by the relevant public authorities of all countries with teams still participating in the current season;
  • In order to safeguard a fair competition: players to be available for an adequate period of training once sport activities are allowed;
  • In order to properly organize game operations: cross border travel restrictions to have been lifted;
  • In order to provide the best conditions for players, fans and partners: the pinnacle event and crowning of BCL Champion to be held in front of fans.

Taking into consideration that the above conditions cannot be, reasonably, met in order for the BCL Season to conclude, the BCL Board took the unanimous decision to resume and conclude the 2019-20 Season with the hosting of a Final Eight, single-game knock-out competition, to be held on September 30 – October 4, 2020.

It’d hard to imagine that Hapoel Jerusalem will host the tournament due to the Yom Kippur holiday which begins on September 27th at sundown until the 28th at night and closes the airport plus the Sukkot Holiday which begins at sundown on October 2nd.

In addition, the rosters for most teams will not be the same as the ones which featured for the majority of the regular season due to new player signings which will take place over the course of the summer. Theoretically the championship will end up being a quick pre-season tournament to conclude the 2019/20 campaign while the 2020/2021 competition will most probably open up during the month of March.

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