Despite winning an historic Israeli championship last week, Hapoel Jerusalem will have to wait at least one more year to play in the Euroleague after its bid to receive a wild card was rejected on Monday.
Jerusalem was hoping to receive direct entry into the regular season of European basketball’s premier club competition after defeating Hapoel Eilat last week to claim its first BSL championship. However, the Euroleague overlooked Jerusalem on Monday and decided to grant wild card berths to Bayern Munich of Germany, Strasbourg of France, Lokomotiv Kuban of Russia and Darussafaka Istanbul of Turkey, while also handing one B License to the Turkish League champion Karsiyaka Izmir.
Since the takeover of the club by the ownership group led by Ori Allon two years ago, and in particular after moving to its new arena this season, Hapoel has been in talks with the Euroleague in the hope of one day becoming a permanent member. Hapoel was handed a wild-card entry into the qualifiers for 2014/15, but it failed to progress.
Allon and team officials met with Euroleague President Jordi Bertomeu at the Final Four earlier this year in an attempt to persuade him, but their efforts to enter the competition in 2015/16 proved unsuccessful and Jerusalem will have to settle for a place in the Eurocup regular season once more.
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