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  • Writer's picturemarisnoviks

Sailing into new waters: welcome Landstede Hammers!

Graphic: Mārtiņš Zaļūksnis

Landstede Hammers Zwolle is the first club from the Netherlands to play in the European North Basketball league.

The club was founded on April 25, 1995, as it moved from its previous destination Meppel to Zwolle.

The new sponsor and owner of the club, Cees Lubbers, wanted to move the club to a new gym in order to develop and grow bigger.

Mr. Lubbers was an auctioneer and therefore decided that the club would be named after his famous auction: "Hammer".

Since then, the club has reached a number of finals.

In 2017, Landstede Hammers won its first prize: the Supercup. And repeated it in 2019.

Landstede Hammers won the first national championship in 2019.

By winning the national championship, Landstede Hammers earned the right participate in the FIBA Europe Cup.

Zwolle team finished second in Group B with a 3-3 record right behind a perfect Ironi Ness Ziona and advanced to the secound group stage.

Landstede Hammers landed in the Group K to face BK Ventspils from Latvia, Kyiv Basket from Ukraine – both teams advanced to the quarterfinals – and Egis Kormend from Hungary.

Donar Groningen was the first club from the Netherlands to play in the Basketball Champions league qualifiers in 2016.

They didn`t made it to the second qualifying round after losing home and away series against Tartu, 133-141.

Donar returned next autumn to defeat Vytautas Prienai from Lithuania, 159-138, in the first qualifying round.

They prevailed over Bakken Bears from Denmark, 169-153, but fell at the hands of Estudiantes Madrid, 145-153, in the third qualifying round.

A year later Donar succeeded against Sigal Prishtina, 144-139, but suffered a 144-151 loss against Fribourg Olympic from Switzerland in the second qualifying round.

Groningen team remained a lone Dutch representative in 2019 and 2020.

It stayed this way until 2021, when Zorg and Zekerheid Leiden made it to the second qualifying round of the Basketball Champions league.

ZZ Leiden defeated Belfius Mons Hainaut, 74-76, but missed its chance against Tsmoki Minsk, 67-69.

Heroes Den Bosch traveled to Malaga in September 2022.

They won quarterfinals over Šiauliai, 73-85, but then crashed against the hosts, Unicaja Malaga, 58-114.

Unicaja hosted the 2023 Basketball Champions League Final Four on May 12-14.

The Dutch clubs have reached FIBA Europe Cup semifinals twice.

Donar Groningen reached the Last Four in April 2018 and dropped the semifinal series against eventul winner, Reyer Venezia, 155-162.

ZZ Leiden made it to the semifinals in 2022.

They also lost to the next champion, Bahcesehir Koleji, 153-167.

Netherlands capital Amsterdam wanted to host the Olympic Games in 2028, but withdrew its bid in April 2014.


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