Finals format among hot topics at BSL coaches’ presser

After eight years, the BSL directorate decided to drop the one-game final in 2013/14.

BSL season gets underway 370 (photo credit: Lilach Weiss/BSL)
BSL season gets underway 370
(photo credit: Lilach Weiss/BSL)
Basketball Super League chairman Shmuel Frenkel criticized his league’s format on Wednesday in a league wide press conference, claiming that it is “absurd” to decide the championship in a two-game home-andaway tie.
After eight years, the BSL directorate decided to drop the one-game final in 2013/14.
However, rather than reintroduce a best-of-five playoff series in the final, the way the league did last season in the semifinals, shelving the Final Four, the BSL decided that the championship would be determined in two games, with basket differential to act as a tiebreaker should the finalists split the two encounters.
“I don’t think you can decide a season on basket differential,” said Frenkel during a press conference with the league’s coaches on Wednesday.
“It seems absurd to me. I thought that there should be at least a three game series. There were those who thought that it would be problematic for the third game to be played at the home of the higher seed so I even suggested that if a third game is required it will be played in a neutral venue. Unfortunately, I didn’t succeed.
I hope that this is changed in the future.”
Bnei Herzliya coach Effi Birenboim, who will start his 28th season in the top flight, concurred with Frenkel’s suggestion, but said that Israeli basketball should adopt several other regulations from the NBA, hinting towards a salary cap.
Only four of the league’s 12 coaches are back with the same team this season, an issue which was addressed by Sharon Drucker, who coached Hapoel Jerusalem last term and will guide Hapoel Gilboa/Galil in 2013/14.
“We live in a world in which everything has to be achieved instantly,” he said. “You need a special kind of management and ownership, who really know what they want to achieve, in order to remain at the same club for many years.”
Maccabi Tel Aviv coach David Blatt, who will start his fourth straight year at the club, said he wasn’t concerned about his team’s play in the pre-season so far, explaining that it is far too early to judge the different sides.
New Hapoel Jerusalem coach Brad Greenberg, who led Maccabi Haifa to the championship last season, tried his best to be noncommittal.
“All I can say is that we’ve got a good group. A high character group and so far they have been extremely coachable and want to be as good as they can be,” he said.
“But people have to realize that how well you do in terms of wins and losses has a lot to do with the guys you are playing against. It’s a fiercely competitive league. I’m optimistic, but cautiously optimistic. I hope our fans will support us through thick and thin.”