FIBA, FIBA Americas and Euroleague Basketball sign agreement.
FIBA, FIBA Americas and Euroleague Basketball are pleased to announce the return of the Intercontinental Cup as 2013 FIBA Americas League champions Pinheiros Sky of Sao Paulo from Brazil will face 2013 Turkish Airlines Euroleague champions Olympiacos Piraeus of Greece.
Though once a staple of the basketball calendar, the Intercontinental Cup has been on hiatus for nearly two decades, with the last edition taking place back in 1996.
The 2013 edition of the Intercontinental Cup will be staged at Barueri Arena in Sao Paulo, Brazil as a two-leg series with games on 4 and 6 October.
"FIBA is happy to support the comeback of the Intercontinental Cup with the champions of the Turkish Airlines Euroleague and the FIBA Americas League, the top international club competitions of the two continents," said FIBA Secretary General Patrick Baumann. "It is a testament of the big development experienced by club basketball in America, especially South America, and I hope it is an initiative that can endure over the years.
Euroleague Basketball President and CEO Jordi Bertomeu echoed the sentiment. "We're very happy to celebrate the return of the Intercontinental Cup and to have the chance to watch fantastic clashes between the Turkish Airlines Euroleague reigning champion Olympiacos Piraeus and the FIBA Americas reigning champion Pinheiros Sky Sao Paulo," he said. "The basketball family gets together again for this important event in Brazil and we hope American fans get to know us better and to enjoy our style of basketball."
"Our presence at such an important moment in basketball is a great honour," said Olympiacos Piraeus General manager Christos Stavropoulos. "Olympiacos has achieved something historic the last two years and these games in Brazil are the next step in a great effort being made. Euroleague and FIBA deserve congratulations for this initiative. I am certain of the fact that these games in the future will constitute a very important worldwide sporting event. "
"For E.C. Pinheiros, a club with 114 years of tradition, it has always been a major objective to win the FIBA Americas League and to play in one of the most important tournaments in world basketball, the Intercontinental Cup," said Pinheiros Sports Director J.F. Rossi. "We achieved our goal through a lot of planification and management, thereby helping to consolidate Brazilian basketball on an international level."
FIBA Americas Secretary General Alberto Garcia said: "I wish to sincerely express the enormous joy felt by our President and the Counsel of Directors in FIBA Americas. "This is a dream we have had since the start of the first edition of the first FIBA Americas League in 2007. We were all aware that some time would be needed in order for it to happen, but now we can thank everyone that put their trust in this idea.
"Everyone at FIBA Americas believes firmly in the international competition at club level with the goal to strengthen the national leagues and, in consequence, the players that will later represent their countries with national teams in international competitions both in the World Championships and the Olympic Games. Without strong national leagues, players, coaches and referees would not have the chance to grow both at an individual and collective level. Thanks to FIBA and Euroleague Basketball for accepting to share with us in this Intercontinental Cup and we hope that in a not-so-distant future we can consolidate it and even take it further with the participation of clubs from other FIBA continents."