Basketball Champions League Final Four heads to Malaga

Palacio de Deportes Jose Maria Martin Carpena in Malaga, Spain

Featured image credit: Basketball Champions League

The Basketball Champions League (BCL) Final Four will remain in Spain for the second consecutive year after the city of Malaga secured hosting rights to this season’s edition.

The event that will crown the 2022-23 BCL champion is set to take place on May 12-14. It will be held at Palacio de Deportes Jose Maria Martin Carpena, the largest indoor multi-purpose sports arena in southern Spain, which has a seating capacity of 11,300 and is the regular home court of host club Unicaja.

The reigning Spanish Copa del Rey champion was the first team to secure a spot in this year’s Final Four after sweeping UCAM Murcia 2-0 in the quarter-finals and will compete in the showpiece event of the BCL for the first time in club history.

Germany’s Telekom Baskets Bonn and Israel’s Hapoel Bank Yahav Jerusalem are also poised to make their maiden appearances at a BCL Final Four.

By contrast, the fourth title contender has significant experience of BCL season-ending tournaments. Lenovo Tenerife is the defending BCL champion and also won the first ever edition of the competition, which it hosted in 2016-17, while it reached the final in 2018-19.

BCL CEO, Patrick Comninos, said: “In approaching potential participants to the Final Four with the opportunity to organise this year’s pinnacle event, we saw great enthusiasm from host candidates, a clear validation of the continuous growth and interest for this event.

“We received concrete commitment from a number of clubs, all providing excellent conditions for hosting the event. But ultimately, we chose Malaga as the destination that goes beyond guaranteeing that the 2023 BCL Final Four will be a successful event.

“We chose Malaga and Unicaja because the fans’ dedication, enthusiasm and convergence with their team has scaled new heights this season, especially after the conquest of the Copa del Rey. They convinced us that their energy will convert the 2023 Final Four into the sort of legacy event which leaves an inedible stamp on the city, the region and the local community.”

Bilbao staged the 2022 Final Four, marking the first time the event was held at the arena of a non-participating team. The season-ending tournament was staged at the 10,000-seat Bilbao Arena, regular home court of Surne Bilbao Basket.

The Spanish city’s staging also saw the BCL’s showpiece event return to its traditional format after Final Eight tournaments concluded its past two seasons during COVID-19. The 2020-21 season concluded in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia, while the 2019-20 Final Eight was held in Athens, Greece.