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NLB League
(Adriatic League)
NLB Liga
Current season or competition:
ABA NLB League 2009–10
ABA NLB League official logo.jpg
NLB League logo
Sport Basketball
Founded 2001
Commissioner Josip Bilić
No. of teams 14
Country(ies)  Serbia
 Bosnia and Herzegovina
Most recent champion(s) SerbiaKK Partizan
Most championships SerbiaKK Partizan (3)
Official website

Adriatic League, currently known as the NLB League as part of the naming rights sponsorship (from 2001 to 2006 known as the Goodyear League), is a top-level regional basketball league that features teams from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia, all of which are former republics of SFR Yugoslavia. The league is a private venture, founded in 2001 and organized by Slovenian company Sidro d.o.o.

The league exists alongside scaled-down versions of domestic leagues in each country. All of its teams join their country's own competitions in late spring after the Adriatic League regular season and post-season have been completed. The Adriatic Basketball Association, set up by Sidro company, is the body that organizes the league and is a full member of ULEB and a voting member of the Euroleague board, so this league can be considered as a local version of the Europe-wide Euroleague, in which many Adriatic League clubs also compete.

This league has inspired a similar competition in the Baltic states, the Baltic Basketball League or Baltic League.



The league was founded on July 3, 2001 with 12 teams, and started competition in fall 2001. The league had 4 teams from Slovenia, 4 teams from Croatia, 3 teams from Bosnia-Herzegovina, and 1 team from FR Yugoslavia

For the 2002-03 season, the league remained at 12 teams, with one team dropping out and Israeli powerhouse Maccabi Tel Aviv joining.

Maccabi left the league after one season, but the league expanded to 14 teams for 2003-04, and to 16 for 2004-05.

The league reverted to 14 teams for 2005-06. In September 2006 the league signed a general sponsorship contract with Nova ljubljanska banka (NLB) and was renamed to NLB League, whilst keeping Goodyear as one of the major sponsor.


Like most European leagues, the regular season consists of a double round-robin schedule, with each team playing every other team home and away. The top teams in the league then advance to a playoff round to crown the league champion.

From 2002 through 2004, four teams qualified, and the playoffs were termed the "Final Four"; starting in 2005, eight teams advanced to the "Final Eight" round. All playoff rounds consist of one-off knockout matches, unusual among European leagues. However, since all Adriatic League clubs play in domestic leagues at the same time, and many also play in the Euroleague, the current format has the virtue of limiting fixture congestion for the playoff sides.

Current season teams (2009-2010)

Country Teams Team City Venue (Capacity)
Serbia Serbia 5
KK Partizan Belgrade Pionir Hall (7,000)
KK Crvena zvezda Belgrade Pionir Hall (7,000)
KK Hemofarm STADA Vršac Millennium Center (4,058)
KK FMP Železnik Železnik Hall (3,000)
KK Radnički Kragujevac Hala Jezero (3,570)
Croatia Croatia 4
KK Cibona Zagreb Dražen Petrović Basketball Hall (5,400)
KK Zadar Zadar Krešimir Ćosić Hall (9,200)
KK Zagreb Croatia osiguranje Zagreb Trnsko (2,000)
KK Cedevita Zagreb Sutinska vrela (2,000)
Slovenia Slovenia 2
KK Union Olimpija Ljubljana Hala Tivoli (6,000)
KK Helios Domžale Dvorana Komunalnega centra (2,180)
Bosnia and Herzegovina Bosnia and Herzegovina 2
KK Bosna ASA BH TELECOM Sarajevo Dvorana Mirza Delibašić (6,500)
HKK Široki HT Eronet Široki Brijeg "Pecara" (4,500)
Montenegro Montenegro 1
KK Budućnost m:tel Podgorica Morača Sports Center (4,570)


Season Winner Runner-up Final Score Finals host city
2001-02 Slovenia Union Olimpija Slovenia Krka 73 - 59 Slovenia Ljubljana
2002-03 Croatia Zadar Israel Maccabi Tel Aviv 91 - 88 Slovenia Ljubljana
2003-04 Serbia Reflex Croatia Cibona 71 - 70 Croatia Zagreb
2004-05 Serbia Hemofarm Serbia Partizan 89 - 76 Serbia Belgrade
2005-06 Serbia FMP Serbia Partizan 73 - 72 Bosnia and Herzegovina Sarajevo
2006-07 Serbia Partizan Serbia FMP 85 - 83, 94 - 82 played as home-and-away best-of-3 series
2007-08 Serbia Partizan Serbia Hemofarm 69 - 51 Slovenia Ljubljana
2008-09 Serbia Partizan Croatia Cibona 63 - 49 Serbia Belgrade

Performance by club

Team Winners Runners-Up Years Won Years Runner-Up
Serbia Partizan
2007, 2008, 2009 2005, 2006
Serbia FMP
2004, 2006 2007
Serbia Hemofarm
2005 2008
Slovenia Olimpija
Croatia Zadar
Croatia Cibona
2004, 2009
Slovenia Krka
Israel Maccabi Tel Aviv

NLB League Awards

MVP Award

Season MVP Team
2001-02 Croatia Marino Baždarić Triglav osiguranje
2002-03 United States Kenyan Weaks Pivovarna Laško
2003-04 Serbia Dejan Milojević Budućnost
2004-05 Serbia Dejan Milojević Partizan
2005-06 Serbia Dejan Milojević Partizan
2006-07 Republic of Macedonia Todor Gečevski Zadar
2007-08 Serbia Tadija Dragićević Crvena zvezda
2008-09 Croatia Ante Tomić Zagreb

See also


External links


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