VTB League “no rival to Euroleague” despite extension

Russian Basketball is all set for a major renovation. The newly established VTB League only took over from the Superleague this year but its head is already calling for another overhaul.

The league’s head, Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Sergey Ivanov, held a news conference on Monday. He guaranteed more sponsorship for the league with the overall aim of becoming as popular as Ice Hockey’s KHL.

Ivanov also announced there will be four newcomers next year, adding though that the VTB League has certain limits of extension.

“Next year the league will consist of the 12 teams that we already have. Added, will be two more Russian teams, Lokomotiv Krasnodar and Spartak St. Petersburg and two foreign clubs, Astana Tigers and the Czech Republic’s Nymburk,” said Ivanov.

”We will have 16 clubs from ten countries, not only from Eastern Europe, but also from Central Europe. As for clubs from Israel or Western Europe, we have no plans for such an extension. We are no rivals of Euroleague,” he stressed.

”The format of the tournament will also change into two groups with eight teams in each and then the play-offs,” Ivanov stated.

“This year we also had the ridiculous situation that teams were paying TV stations to cover their games. We will be paying the squads next time.”

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