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BELGRADE: More games and bigger arenas will enable Europe’s premier basketball competition to aim for NBA standards, Euroleague chief Jordi Bertomeu has vowed ahead of the new season starting tomorrow.
This month’s warm-up games between Euroleague teams and NBA outfits suggest the gulf between the top sides from Europe and North America has narrowed, with Fenerbahce Istanbul pulling off a shock 97-91 win over 17-time NBA champions Boston Celtics. Bertomeu, who met with NBA commissioner David Stern in Berlin shortly before local team Alba pushed 2011 champions Dallas Mavericks to the limit in an 89-84 defeat on Saturday, acknowledged that looking up to the NBA and playing against the league’s top contenders has helped Europe to improve.
“These games are an opportunity to work with our NBA friends, share the experience and learn because they have already done many things that we want to do in our evolution as a professional league,” Bertomeu told the 24-team Euroleague’s official website (www.euroleague.net).
“We have different models, a different sports culture and of course different resources but we share the same vision about the importance of improving the quality of the game and the importance of basketball becoming a global sport.
“Specifically in this field I have to say that the NBA has been doing a terrific job. We have in front of us a very important Euroleague season with more games, more weeks and teams moving to bigger arenas, culminating in the Final Four in London.” REUTERS