Full house, Fairplay, Festivity

By Aris Barkas/ [email protected]

The basketball Champions League is taking key steps of progress every season. However, this time around, deciding from the get-go that the Final Four will be held in a “neutral” city was not just a step. It was a leap of faith.

CEO Patrick Komninos and the rest of the competition management have taken a conscious decision to test the BCL itself, the power of its brand, and the appeal that the competition has to fans, not necessarily of one of the four contenders.

The end result was impressive. In total, 8.157 fans were present in the stands for the Final and most of them supported Manresa.

Unfortunately for them, their team was defeated. Fortunately for the BCL and also for the sport of basketball in general, Manresa’s fans created a memorable moment.

We have seen many times in big games opposing fans understand that the opponent was better and even clap during the trophy presentation.

Things have taken a step further in the Basketball Champions League Final Four.

With Manresa losing the game to a better Lenovo Tenerife, a sea of Red fans celebrated the win of their opponents, chanting their name.

With basketball fandom in Europe including a healthy dose of tribalism, this was unprecedented and sets a very interesting precedent for the BCL.

The season is over, and Tenerife joined Burgos as a two-time winner of the trophy, however, Manresa, the fans of the club, and their reaction will be more than remembered, setting the bar high for the next BCL Final Four.

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