Six domestic champions lead the list of European basketball powers who will compete in the 2004-05 ULEB Cup, which has expanded to 42 teams for its third season. With six more teams and five more countries than last season, the 2004-05 ULEB Cup promises even more widespread basketball drama, beginning with the group draw coming on Tuesday, June 29 in Barcelona. A total of 20 countries will be represented in the draw, with 25 of the 42 teams having finished as semifinalists or better in national league playoffs last season. The draw will start at 12:30 (CET) on Tuesday.

Following a detailed study of all candidates, ULEB Cup organizers decided to limit expansion to 42 teams so as to preserve the competition’s high levels of playing quality and organization. Officials at Union of European Basketball Leagues (ULEB) wish to thank all those clubs who could not be included in the third edition of the ULEB Cup for the interest they have shown and to assure them that their candidacies will be taken into account in future expansions.

Among the interesting details of the new configuration of the competition are the following:

– The four new countries are: Russia (Dinamo Moscow), Turkey (Carussafaka, Turk Telekom), Hungary (Debrecen) and Portugal (Ovarense).

– The number of teams from Greece has risen substantially, to four: Maroussi Tim, Aris Castrol Thessanoliki, PAOK Thessaloniki and Makedonikos.

– Both previous ULEB Cup champions – Hapoel Migdal Jerusalmen (2003-04) and Pamesa Valencia (2002-03) – will play the competition again in 2004-05.

– The ULEB Cup next season will feature six domestic league champions from around Europe: Ventspils (Latvia), Reflex (Adriatic League), MC Capitals Groningen (Holland), PBC Lukoil Academic (Bulgaria), Spirou Charleroi (Belgium) and Superfund Kapfenberg (Austria).

– Eight additional teams who were finalists in their domestic leagues are part of the ULEB Cup: Euphony Liege (Belgium), BCM Gravelines-Dunkerque (France), GHP Bamberg (Germany), Maroussi TIM (Greece), Lietuvos Ritas (Lithuania), Idea Slask Wroclaw (Poland), Zadar (Croatia) and Hemofarm (Serbia & Montenegro).

For more details contact:

Vladimir Stankovic
Director Media relations Department

EUROLEAGUE BASKETBALL, S.L.
Palau Sant Jordi
Passeig Olímpic 5-7
08038 Barcelona
Phone: +34 93 327 84 27
Fax: +34 93 327 84 24
e-mail: vladimir.stankovic@euroleague.net