Maccabi Tel Aviv’s Yogev Ohayon.
(photo credit: ADI AVISHAI)
BSL chairman Shmuel Frenkel revealed on Tuesday that he has held talks with the Euroleague over recent weeks with the aim of receiving a second berth for an Israeli club in continental basketball’s premier club competition, likely for Hapoel Jerusalem.
Frenkel, who was speaking at the BSL’s annual pre-playoff press conference in Tel Aviv, said that the matter has been discussed with Euroleague bosses and that he hopes Israel will also receive another spot in the Eurocup.
Maccabi Tel Aviv is currently the only Israeli club guaranteed a place in the Euroleague regular season as one of 11 teams with an A license.
Since the takeover of Hapoel Jerusalem by the ownership group led by Ori Allon, and in particular after moving in to its new arena last year, the club has been in talks with the Euroleague with 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.
Nevertheless, Jerusalem has its sights set on receiving one of the four wild-card entries for the 2015/16 regular season.
Apart from the 11 A license clubs and Eurocup winner Khimki Moscow, eight B licenses will be awarded directly through domestic league qualification to teams from the Adriatic League (2), France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Russia and Spain.
Four temporary one-year B licenses will be assigned as wild cards, with priority given to suitable clubs in France, Germany, Turkey and the United Kingdom due to their status as strategic markets for the competition.
Allon tweeted last week that he will be in Madrid for this weekend’s Euroleague Final Four and he will try to convince the decision makers to hand Jerusalem one of the four wild-card berths.
Thanks to its new arena, strong financial base and Jerusalem’s reputation as a city, Allon hopes to persuade Euroleague chiefs that it is in their interest to award