Mac TA receives top rank along with Euroleague renewal
Club guaranteed a place in European basketball's premier competition at least until 2012.
By ALLON SINAI
Maccabi Tel Aviv was among the 13 teams granted a long-term A License by the Euroleague on Tuesday, guaranteeing the club a place in European basketball's premier competition at least until 2012.
Maccabi was actually placed first among the top-ranked teams since the 2002-03 season, when the competition was consolidated with 24 teams per year, according to the following ranking parameters: 60% sports results, 30% TV income generated in their markets, and 10% arena attendance.
"We are very proud to be ranked in first position," Maccabi chairman Shimon Mizrahi said.
As part of the strategic plan for the 2009-12 period Euroleague clubs and representatives of national leagues also agreed in Rome on Tuesday that the champions in at least 12 national leagues, if not more, would have their presence in the Euroleague guaranteed with the possibility of obtaining a one-year B License based solely on sports results in their domestic championships.
The runners-up and third-place teams from three of the highest-rated national leagues according to a separate ranking would also have options to obtain a B License.
If, however, a Euroleague team with an A License wins its domestic title, that place would not go directly to the same country's runner-up, but rather to the next country on the ranking of national leagues.
This wrinkle in the qualification process is bad news for all Israeli clubs besides the perennial champs from Tel Aviv, as they are often left battle it out for second place after a dominant Maccabi takes home the league's top prize.
For decades already, Maccabi has been a staple at the top rung of the European basketball ladder and nothing seems likely to change in the foreseeable future.
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