-- ABOUT THE a1 basket league --
The Greek A1 Basket League is Greece’s highest professional basketball league and is ranked as one of the top 3 leagues in Europe. The league runs from October to June and consists of 14 teams with each team playing the other twice, home and away, totaling 26 games per team. At the end of the season the top 8 teams play in the A1 Basket League Playoffs. The winner of the playoffs is considered the A1 Basket League Champion, the highest honor in Greek Club basketball. The two last placed teams, at the end of the regular season, are relegated to the Greek A2 Basket League whereas the top two teams from the A2 Basket League are promoted to A1 Basket League. Last year's champion of the A1 Basket League was Panathinaikos BC.
The teams ranked 1st – 8th at the end of the A1 Basket League (26 games) enter the playoffs. The playoffs are split into four rounds (two rounds in the quarterfinals stage) with the quarterfinals played in a best of 3 series, while the semi-finals and finals are played in a best of 5 series. The top two teams at the end of the season are automatically granted a place to the semi-finals while the teams ranked 3rd and 4th are automatically granted a place in the second round of the quarterfinals. The first round of the quarterfinals consists of the teams that finished in 5th-8th place. Throughout the playoffs the team with the better regular season ranking is guaranteed home court advantage in a series. Below is a list of the bracket based on regular season rank.
Quarter-Finals (Best of 3 series)
Pair 1: 1st place verses 8th place
Pair 2: 2nd place versus 7th place
Pair 3: 3rd place versus 6th place
Pair 4: 4th place versus 5th place
Semi-Finals (Best of 5 series)
SF 1: Winner of Pair 1 versus Winner of Pair 4
SF 2: Winner of Pair 2 versus Winner of Pair 3
Finals (Best of 5 Series)
Championship: Winners of the two Semi-Final Pairs
3rd Place: Losers of the two Semi-Final Pairs
EuroLeague & champions league Placements
Olympiacos and Panathinaikos have a contract with the EuroLeague and are automatically placed in the competition every year. The number of teams that will represent Greece in the FIBA Champions League will be determined at another time. In this year’s FIBA Champions League, Greece will be represented by three teams: Aris, PAOK, and AEK.
The A1 Greek Basket League was formed at the end of the 2010-2011 season and replaced the old name, HEBA A1 (ΕΣΑΚΑ Α1), which was established in 1992. There were three previous “eras” of Greek Basketball starting in 1927 until 1992. In the 90s the HEBA A1 league was considered the second best domestic league in the world, behind the NBA. Currently, the A1 Basket League is considered the third best league in Europe, behind the Spanish ACB Liga and Russian VTB United League. Greece has several great powerhouse teams which belong to the most traditional European basketball clubs, especially the Euroleague giants Panathinaikos and Olympiacos. To date 9 teams have been crowned champions of Greek Basketball since 1927. They include: Athens University (1), Near East (1), PAOK (2), Iraklis (2), Panellinios (6), AEK (8), Aris (10), Olympiacos (11), and Panathinaikos who has the most titles with 35. Also, Panathinaikos and Aris are the only teams that have never been relegated to the Greek A2 Basket League.