Greek A1 Basket League Begins This Weekend
The Greek A1 Basket League begins this weekend and AGONAsport.com brings you a preview to the 2016-2017 season. More at the Greek A1 basket League home page...
Teams: The Greek A1 Basket League, one of the best Leagues in Europe, is set to tip-off this weekend. Like last season, there will be 14 teams in the first division and each team will play the other twice, home and away, totaling 26 games per team. The new boys, Prometheus and Kymi, were promoted from the second division and Doxa Lefkadas took the place of Kifisia, who was unable to compete in the first division due to financial trouble. At the end of last season, Arkadikos and Kavala were relegated to the second division.
Playoffs: The playoff structure has changed for this season, which will consist of four different rounds. Like last year, the top 8 teams from the regular season will qualify for the playoffs. The first and second placed teams will earn an automatic bid to the third round (semifinals) of the playoffs while the teams ranked 3rd and 4th will automatically play in the second round. The teams ranked 5th-8th will compete in the first round. The pairs are below...
- First Round (Best of 3 series)
- Pair 1: 5th place verses 8th place
- Pair 2: 6th place versus 7th place
- 2nd Round (Best of 3 series)
- Pair 1: 3rd place verses Winner of Pair 1 from 1st Round
- Pair 2: 4th place verses Winner of Pair 2 from 1st Round
- Third Round, Semi-Finals (Best of 5 series)
- Pair 1: 1st place verses Winner of Pair 2 from 2nd Round
- Pair 2: 2nd place verses Winner of Pair 2 from 2nd Round
- Final (Best of 5 Series)
- Winners of the two Semi-Final Pairs
Relegation/Promotion: The two last placed teams from the regular season will be relegated to the second division. At the end of the season, the top two teams from second division will be promoted to the first division.
Euroleague & FIBA Champions League: Olympiacos and Panathinaikos have a ten year contract with the Euroleague and will play in Europe's premier Basketball competition regardless of their final placement in Greece. As far as the FIBA Champions League, it is a new competition and the amount of teams that will earn a place in next year’s competition (2017-2018) is to be decided. For this season, AEK, Aris, and PAOK will compete in the Champions League as they finished in 3rd, 4th, and 5th place in last year’s Greek A1 Basket League.
Favorites: Olympiacos and Panathinaikos are the clear favorites to win the Greek A1 Basket League Title. The two powerhouses are by far the best teams in Greece and will likely finish in the top two places in the regular season and will meet in the playoff finals. The question that remains every season is who will win the regular season and earn home-court advantage throughout the playoffs (and ultimately the finals). AEK, Aris, and PAOK will be the favorites to finish in the next 3 places and likely earn a spot in next year’s FIBA Champions League (final places to be decided). Kolossos Rodou and Rethymno will hope to repeat last season’s showings and earn a place in the postseason. The new boys, Prometheus, Kymi, and Doxa Lefkadas will be the favorites to finish at the bottom of the table and drop to the second division.
Derbies: The first derby of the season will be between the eternal enemies, Olympiacos and Panathinaikos, in the 2nd Round. The next weekend, the two teams from Thessaloniki, Aris and PAOK, will face-off. Below is a list of all the derbies for the upcoming season.
- Round 2: Olympiacos - Panathiniakos
- Round 3: Aris - PAOK
- Round 5: Aris - Olympiacos
- Round 6: PAOK - AEK
- Round 7: Aris - Panathinaikos
- Round 8: Olympiacos - AEK
- Round 10: Panathinaikos - AEK
- Round 11: PAOK - Olympiacos
- Round 13: AEK - Aris
- Round 13: PAOK - Panathinaikos
- Round 15: Panathinaikos - Olympiacos
- Round 16: PAOK - Aris
- Round 18: Olympiacos - Aris
- Round 19: AEK - PAOK
- Round 20: Panathinaikos - Aris
- Round 21: AEK - Olympiacos
- Round 23: Aris - AEK
- Round 23: Panathinaikos - PAOK