NLB League


NLB League

Infobox individual sports league

pixels = 171px
caption = The NLB League
sport = Basketball
founded = 2001
fame =
motto =
competitors = 14
country = flagicon|BIH Bosnia and Herzegovina
flagicon|CRO Croatia
flagicon|MNE Montenegro
flagicon|SRB Serbia
flagicon|SLO Slovenia

champion = flagicon|SRB KK Partizan
folded =
website = [http://www.adriaticbasket.com/ www.adriaticbasket.com]
The Adriatic League, currently known as the NLB League (from 2001 to 2006 known as the Goodyear League), is a top-level basketball league that features teams from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro and Slovenia, all of which are former republics of SFR Yugoslavia.

The league exists alongside domestic leagues in each country; all of its teams play in their country's own competitions as well as the Adriatic League. The Adriatic Basketball Association which organizes the league is a full member of ULEB and a voting member of the Euroleague board, so this league can be considered as a local version of the Europe-wide Euroleague, in which many Adriatic League clubs also compete.

This league has inspired a similar competition in the Baltic states, the Baltic Basketball League or Baltic League.

History

The league was founded on July 3, 2001 with 12 teams, and started competition in fall 2001. The league had 4 teams from Slovenia, 4 teams from Croatia, 3 teams from Bosnia-Herzegovina, and 1 team from FR Yugoslavia

For the 2002-03 season, the league remained at 12 teams, with one team dropping out and Israeli powerhouse Maccabi Tel Aviv joining.

Maccabi left the league after one season, but the league expanded to 14 teams for 2003-04, and to 16 for 2004-05.

The league reverted to 14 teams for 2005-06. In September 2006 the league signed a general sponsorship contract with Nova ljubljanska banka (NLB) and was renamed to NLB League, whilst keeping Goodyear as one of the major sponsor.

Competition

Like most European leagues, the regular season consists of a double round-robin schedule, with each team playing every other team home and away. The top teams in the league then advance to a playoff round to crown the league champion.

From 2002 through 2004, four teams qualified, and the playoffs were termed the "Final Four"; starting in 2005, eight teams advanced to the "Final Eight" round. All playoff rounds consist of one-off knockout matches, unusual among European leagues. However, since all Adriatic League clubs play in domestic leagues at the same time, and many also play in the Euroleague, the current format has the virtue of limiting fixture congestion for the playoff sides.

Current teams (2006/07)

At present, the teams in the league are:
*KK Bosna - Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
*KK Budućnost - Podgorica, Montenegro
*KK Cibona - Zagreb, Croatia
*KK Crvena zvezda - Belgrade, Serbia
*KK FMP - Belgrade, Serbia
*KD Slovan - Ljubljana, Slovenia
*KK Helios - Domžale, Slovenia
*KK Hemofarm - Vršac, Serbia
*KK Partizan - Belgrade, Serbia
*KK Split - Split, Croatia
*KK Union Olimpija - Ljubljana, Slovenia
*KK Zadar - Zadar, Croatia
*KK Zagreb - Zagreb, Croatia
*HKK Široki - Široki Brijeg, Bosnia and Herzegovina

The teams that dropped out after the 2006-07 season included:
*KK Bosna

The teams that dropped out after the 2005-06 season were:
*KK Pivovarna Laško - Laško, Slovenia
*KK Vojvodina - Novi Sad, Serbia

Past champions

*2007-08 - flagicon|Serbia KK Partizan, Belgrade
*2006-07 - flagicon|Serbia KK Partizan, Belgrade
*2005-06 - flagicon|Serbia KK Železnik (FMP), Belgrade
*2004-05 - flagicon|Serbia KK Hemofarm, Vršac
*2003-04 - flagicon|Serbia KK Železnik (Reflex), Belgrade
*2002-03 - flagicon|Croatia KK Zadar, Zadar
*2001-02 - flagicon|Slovenia Olimpija, Ljubljana

Footnotes

External links

* [http://www.adriaticbasket.com Official site in English]
* [http://www.basketball-fantasy.net/ Fantasy manager for NLB league]


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