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Israeli Basketball Premier League

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Israeli Basketball Premier League

Israeli Basketball Premier League
Ligat HaAl
Current season, competition or edition:
2015–16 Israeli Basketball Super League
Sport Basketball
Founded 1954
CEO Shmuel Frenkel
No. of teams 12
Country  Israel
Continent FIBA Europe (Europe)
Most recent champion(s) Hapoel Jerusalem
(1st title)
Most titles Maccabi Tel Aviv
(51 times)
TV partner(s) Sport 5
Channel 1
Related competitions Israeli League Cup
Level on pyramid 1st Tier (Israel)
Relegation to Liga Leumit - 2nd Tier
Domestic cup(s) Israeli State Cup
Official website basket.co.il

Ligat HaAl (Hebrew: ליגת העל‎, lit Super/Premier League), or the Israeli Basketball Premier League, is the top-tier league of professional competition in Israeli club basketball, making it Israel's primary basketball competition. For sponsorship reasons, the league is also referred to as Ligat Winner Sal (Hebrew: ליגת ווינר סל‎), lit. Winner Sal League, with "Winner" being the name of a game operated by the league's primary sponsor, Toto Winner, and "Sal" meaning basket.[1]

The most recent champion is Hapoel Jerusalem.

Contents

  • Overview 1
  • The competition 2
  • Links with the NBA 3
  • High-profile American Jewish recruits 4
  • Current clubs 5
  • Titles by team 6
  • League champions 7
  • See also 8
  • Notes and references 9
  • External links 10

Overview

Ligat HaAl comprises the top twelve basketball clubs in Israel, and was founded in 1954.

The league itself is most known in Europe due to the success of the Israeli teams in the European competitions such as the Euroleague, Eurocup (formerly called the ULEB Cup), and FIBA's EuroChallenge (formerly called the EuroCup). Many undrafted and free agent players from Europe and the NBA play in the Israeli league, as an alternative to NBA competition.

The league is the first division in Israeli basketball: the team that finishes last in a season is relegated to the Second Division, while the Second Division's top 8 teams compete in a play-off system right after the end of the regular season, with the team that reaches the finals series being promoted to the Premier League for the following season.

Casspi, playing for Israel in 2010
Jordan Farmar playing with Maccabi Tel Aviv.

The competition

There are 12 teams in the league and they play against each other twice in the league manner, once at their home and the other away. At the end of those two rounds, the teams are divided into two equal groups, top group and bottom group. The teams in each group play against each other once. All of the teams in the top group and the top two teams in the bottom group, advance to the five game series Quarterfinal. The winners of the Quarterfinals advance to the five game series Semifinals. The two teams that advance play two games in the Final to determine the league champion.

Links with the NBA

During the 1980s and the early 1990s there were many basketball games between the Israeli League stars and NBA teams such as the Phoenix Suns, the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Orlando Magic, and the Los Angeles Lakers, all of which were played in Israel.

In October 2005, Maccabi Tel Aviv defeated the Toronto Raptors 105–103 in an exhibition game that was played in Toronto, Canada; this was the first victory for any European or Israeli team over an NBA team at its home court.

Over the years, the league has exported many of its foreign players to the NBA. In 2009, Omri Casspi became the first Israeli-born NBA player with the Sacramento Kings. Prior to that, three players have been drafted: Doron Sheffer (who played U.S. college basketball at Connecticut), Yotam Halperin and Lior Eliyahu. Oded Kattash agreed to play with the New York Knicks, but he never actually played in the NBA because of the 1998-99 NBA season lockout that started on July 1, 1998.

In the 2009 NBA Draft, Omri Casspi was selected 23rd overall by the Sacramento Kings, and Gal Mekel followed in 2013 by signing with Dallas Mavericks. Other players who have moved from the league to the NBA include Will Bynum, Anthony Parker, Roger Mason Jr., Eugene "Pooh" Jeter, and Carlos Arroyo.[2]

High-profile American Jewish recruits

In 2011, the league imposed a limit of four non-Israelis per team.[2] Jews are immediately eligible for Israeli citizenship, under Israel's Law of Return.[2] Consequently, non-Israeli Jewish basketball players are able to join a team in the league without using up one of the few roster spots available for non-Israeli players.[2]

Examples of Jewish Americans joining teams in the league include Jon Scheyer, Jordan Farmar, Sylven Landesberg, David Blu, and Dan Grunfeld.[2]

Current clubs

Team City Color
Bnei Herzliya Herzliya          
Hapoel Eilat Eilat          
Maccabi Kiryat Gat Kiryat Gat          
Hapoel Holon Holon          
Hapoel Jerusalem Jerusalem          
Hapoel Tel Aviv Tel Aviv          
Ironi Nahariya Nahariya          
Ironi Nes Ziona Ness Ziona          
Maccabi Ashdod Ashdod          
Maccabi Haifa Haifa          
Maccabi Rishon LeZion Rishon LeZion          
Maccabi Tel Aviv Tel Aviv          

Titles by team

The previews logo of The Basketball Premier League (2006–2010)
Team Winners Runner-Up
Maccabi Tel Aviv 51 7
Hapoel Tel Aviv 5 20
Hapoel Galil Elyon / Hapoel Gilboa Galil 2 3
Hapoel Jerusalem 1 6
Hapoel Holon 1 2
Maccabi Haifa 1 2
Hapoel Ramat Gan 0 6
Ironi Ramat Gan 0 3
Hapoel Gvat/Yagur 0 3
Hapoel Haifa 0 2
Hapoel Eilat 0 2
Elitzur Netanya 0 1
Maccabi Rishon LeZion 0 1
Maccabi Ironi Ra'anana 0 1
Ironi Nahariya 0 1
Maccabi Ashdod 0 1

League champions

Season Champion Runner-up Score Format
2015–16 Final four format
2014–15 Hapoel Jerusalem Hapoel Eilat 80-65 ; 88-68 Home and Away format
2013–14 Maccabi Tel Aviv Maccabi Haifa 81-77 ; 82-84 Home and Away format
2012–13 Maccabi Haifa Maccabi Tel Aviv 86–79 Single game format
2011–12 Maccabi Tel Aviv Maccabi Ashdod 83–63 Final four format
2010–11 Maccabi Tel Aviv Gilboa/Galil 91–64 Final four format
2009–10 Gilboa/Galil Maccabi Tel Aviv 90–77 Final four format
2008–09 Maccabi Tel Aviv Maccabi Haifa 85–72 Final four format
2007–08 Hapoel Holon Maccabi Tel Aviv 73–72 Final four format
2006–07 Maccabi Tel Aviv Hapoel Jerusalem 80–78 Final four format
2005–06 Maccabi Tel Aviv Hapoel Jerusalem 96–66 Final four format
2004–05 Maccabi Tel Aviv Hapoel Tel Aviv 3:0 Best of 5 series
2003–04 Maccabi Tel Aviv Hapoel Tel Aviv 3:0 Best of 5 series
2002–03 Maccabi Tel Aviv Ironi Naharia 3:0 Best of 5 series
2001–02 Maccabi Tel Aviv Ironi Ramat Gan 3:0 Best of 5 series
2000–01 Maccabi Tel Aviv Hapoel Jerusalem 3:0 Best of 5 series
1999–00 Maccabi Tel Aviv Maccabi Ironi Ra'anana 3:1 Best of 5 series
1998–99 Maccabi Tel Aviv Hapoel Jerusalem 3:1 Best of 5 series
1997–98 Maccabi Tel Aviv Hapoel Eilat 3:0 Best of 5 series
1996–97 Maccabi Tel Aviv Hapoel Jerusalem 3:0 Best of 5 series
1995–96 Maccabi Tel Aviv Hapoel Jerusalem 3:0 Best of 5 series
1994–95 Maccabi Tel Aviv Hapoel Galil Elyon 3:0 Best of 5 series
1993–94 Maccabi Tel Aviv Hapoel Tel Aviv 3:0 Best of 5 series
1992–93 Hapoel Galil Elyon Hapoel Tel Aviv 3:1 Best of 5 series
1991–92 Maccabi Tel Aviv Hapoel Tel Aviv 3:2 Best of 5 series
1990–91 Maccabi Tel Aviv Maccabi Rishon LeZion 3:1 Best of 5 series
1989–90 Maccabi Tel Aviv Hapoel Galil Elyon 3:0 Best of 5 series
1988–89 Maccabi Tel Aviv Hapoel Tel Aviv 2:0 Best of 3 series
1987–88 Maccabi Tel Aviv Hapoel Tel Aviv 2:1 Best of 3 series
1986–87 Maccabi Tel Aviv Hapoel Tel Aviv 2:1 Best of 3 series
1985–86 Maccabi Tel Aviv Maccabi Elitzur Netanya 2:0 Best of 3 series
1984–85 Maccabi Tel Aviv Hapoel Tel Aviv 2:1 Best of 3 series
1983–84 Maccabi Tel Aviv Hapoel Ramat Gan 2:0 Best of 3 series
1982–83 Maccabi Tel Aviv Hapoel Ramat Gan 2:0 Best of 3 series
1981–82 Maccabi Tel Aviv Hapoel Ramat Gan Mini-league of top three teams from regular season
1980–81 Maccabi Tel Aviv Hapoel Ramat Gan Regular season only
1979–80 Maccabi Tel Aviv Hapoel Tel Aviv Regular season only
1978–79 Maccabi Tel Aviv Hapoel Tel Aviv 2:0 Best of 3 series
1977–78 Maccabi Tel Aviv Hapoel Gvat/Yagur Mini-league of top six teams from regular season
1976–77 Maccabi Tel Aviv Hapoel Ramat Gan Regular season only
1975–76 Maccabi Tel Aviv Hapoel Gvat/Yagur Regular season only
1974–75 Maccabi Tel Aviv Hapoel Ramat Gan Regular season only
1973–74 Maccabi Tel Aviv Ironi Ramat Gan Regular season only
1972–73 Maccabi Tel Aviv Ironi Ramat Gan Regular season only
1971–72 Maccabi Tel Aviv Hapoel Gvat/Yagur Regular season only
1970–71 Maccabi Tel Aviv Hapoel Tel Aviv Regular season only
1969–70 Maccabi Tel Aviv Hapoel Tel Aviv Regular season only
1968–69 Hapoel Tel Aviv Maccabi Tel Aviv Regular season only
1967–68 Maccabi Tel Aviv Hapoel Tel Aviv Regular season only
1966–67 Maccabi Tel Aviv Hapoel Tel Aviv Regular season only
1965–66 Hapoel Tel Aviv Maccabi Tel Aviv Regular season only
1964–65 Hapoel Tel Aviv Hapoel Haifa Regular season only
1963–64 Maccabi Tel Aviv Hapoel Tel Aviv Regular season only
1962–63 Maccabi Tel Aviv Hapoel Tel Aviv Regular season only
1961–62 Maccabi Tel Aviv Hapoel Haifa Regular season only
1960–61 Hapoel Tel Aviv Maccabi Tel Aviv Regular season only
1959–60 Hapoel Tel Aviv Maccabi Tel Aviv Regular season only
1958–59 Maccabi Tel Aviv Hapoel Tel Aviv Regular season only
1957–58 Maccabi Tel Aviv Hapoel Tel Aviv Regular season only
1956–57 Maccabi Tel Aviv Hapoel Tel Aviv Regular season only
1955–56 Cancelled due to war
1954–55 Maccabi Tel Aviv Hapoel Holon Regular season only
1953–54 Maccabi Tel Aviv Hapoel Holon Regular season only

See also

Notes and references

  1. ^ "BSL Sponsors" (in Hebrew). Israeli Basketball Super League. Retrieved October 25, 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c d e [2]

External links

  • Eurobasket.com League Page
  • Official website
  • IL-Sports Israeli Sport Website in English
  • Maccabi Haifa Heat and Maccabi Tel Aviv broadcasts for North America
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