Official: European North Basketball league taking off in October
Updated: Oct 19, 2021
European North Basketball league (ENBL) will be launched in autumn of 2021 for professional men`s clubs from Northern, Central and Eastern Europe. Initial news about the new league will be published in www.ewbl.eu .
The first season will feature eight teams from Poland, Czech Republic, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Belarus, including several historic clubs with wide regional and international experience.
For example, Anwil Włocławek is a three time Polish champion, a four time Polish Cup winner and a three time Polish SuperCup winner as well as a four time EuroCup participant. The club was founded in 1991.
University of Tartu basketball team – founded in 1937 and known as Tartu Ülikool Maks & Moorits – is a 26 time Estonian champion, a 16 time Estonian Cup winner and a Soviet Union champion in 1949. The city also has a strong basketball school – Tartu Korvpallikool.
Basketball club Šiauliai-7bet is founded in 1984 and won a nine bronze medals in the Lithuania Basketball league (LKL). Šiauliai added three triumphs in the Baltic Basketball league (2014-2016). The team is coached by a EuroBasket 2003 champion Antanas Sireika (1994-2003, 2009-2012, since 2017).
Basket Brno was founded in 1926 and advanced to two FIBA European Champion`s Cup (Euroleague) finals, both times losing to the Spanish champions Real Madrid (1964 and 1968). The club won 21 Czechoslovak championships and three Czech championships (1994-1996).
Borisfen Mogilev was founded on September 3, 2010. The Knights won three bronze medals in Belarus championship (2015-2017), followed by a three silver (2018, 2019, 2021) finishes. Borisfen initially was coached by Rostislav Vergun, a current head coach of Tsmoki Minsk and Belarus national team.
Basketball club Liepāja won two Latvian titles (1963, 1968) and reached a Latvian Basketball league (LBL) final in 1997. Liepāja plays in the “Pafbet” Estonia and Latvia basketball league since 2018. The city is a home of Latvian basketball superstar Kristaps Porziņģis and has a state-of-the-art arena – Liepāja Olympic Center (operates since 2008).
Valmiera Glass/ViA – ViA is for Vidzemes Augstskola or Vidzeme College – was founded in 2009. The club plays in the Latvian Basketball league`s first division since 2017 as well as in the “Pafbet” Latvia and Estonia basketball league (since 2018). The club also has a strong basketball school – Bertānu Valmieras basketball school, supported by a star duo Dairis and Dāvis Bertāns.
The eighth team will be announced on September 29, after a FIBA Europe Cup qualifying game between Trefl Sopot (Poland) and Dnipro (Ukraine) at Triaditza hall in Sofia, Bulgaria. Both teams in case of a loss are committed to continue the season in the ENBL.
Format: a round robin tournament – seven games in four stages (2+2+2+1), followed by the Final Four in Spring of 2022. There will be no games during FIBA international windows for the National teams (November 22-30, 2021; February 21-March 1, 2022).
Schedule: to be announced at a later date. First games are planned on October 19-20.
ENBL season 2021-2022
Basket Brno (4th place in Czech Republic)
Anwil Wloclavek (13th place in Poland)
Šiauliai-7bet (7th place in Lithuania)
Borisfen Mogilev (vice-champion of Belarus)
Tartu Ülikool Maks & Moorits (6th place in Estonia)
Liepāja (4th place in Latvia)
Valmiera Glass ViA (5th place in Latvia)
Season start in national leagues
Poland: September 2-5
Czech Republic: September 17-18
Lithuania: September 18-20
Belarus: September 25
Estonia-Latvia league: October 1
The league eye a further expansion in 2022 to create a 16 team tournament with two groups – Baltic Sea division/North Sea division, by adding teams from Nordic and Benelux countries.
ENBL format is based on the European Youth Basketball league (founded in 1998) – FIBA approved international competition for girls and boys which recently featured around 300 teams from 29 countries.
European Women`s Basketball league (EWBL) was founded in 2015 with eight teams from five countries. The EWBL expanded to a 16 team competiton and has six seasons under its belt. International Basketball federation has recognized the European Women`s Basketball league.
EWBL includes 14 member countries, as of 2021 (in alphabetic order): Belarus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lebanon, Lithuania, Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Slovakia, Sweden, Ukraine, Turkey.