Ligat HaAl (basketball)

Ligat HaAl (basketball)

Infobox sports league
title= Ligat HaAl
current_season = Ligat HaAl (basketball) 2008-09
logo=Ligat Winner.gif
champion=Hapoel Holon
most_champs=Maccabi Tel Aviv (47 times)
website= []
ceo=Avner Koppel
TV=Sport 5
Channel 10
Location map+
border =
caption = Teams 2008-09
float = right
width = 230
places = Location map~|Israel|lat=32.1543|long=34.8447|position = top |label=Sharon Location map~|Israel|lat=31.6696 |long=34.5744 |position = left |label=Ashkelon Location map~|Israel|lat=32.531 |long=35.338 |position = top |label=Gilboa Location map~|Israel|lat=31.960 |long=34.7801 |position = left |label=Holon Location map~|Israel|lat=31.789 |long=35.2090 |position = right |label=Jerusalem Location map~|Israel|lat=33.0035 |long=35.0925 |position = left |label=Nahariya Location map~|Israel|lat=32.0705 |long=34.8067 |position = right |label=Ramat Gan Location map~|Israel|lat=31.8910 |long=34.7801 |position = bottom |label=Rishon LeZion Location map~|Israel|lat=32.051 |long=34.763 |position = left |label=Tel Aviv Location map~|Israel|lat=32.817 |long=34.983 |position = left |label=Haifa Location map~|Israel|lat=32.8 |long=35.1 |position = right |label=Kiryat Ata Location map~|Israel|lat=31.990 |long=34.85 |position = right |label=Giv'at Shmuel

Ligat HaAl ( _he. ליגת העל, lit "Super League"), or the Israeli Basketball Super League, is the top tier of league basketball competition in Israeli basketball, making it Israel's primary basketball competition. For sponsorship reasons, the league is also referred to as Ligat Winner ( _he. ליגת ווינר), lit. "Winner League", with "Winner" being the name of a game operated by the league's primary sponsor, the Israeli Sports Betting Board [cite web|url= |title=BSL Sponsors |publisher=Israeli Basketball Super League |accessdate=2007-10-24] . The league is also sometimes referred to as the "Israeli Premier League".


Ligat HaAl comprises the top ten basketball clubs in Israel, and was founded in 1954.

The league itself is most known in Europe due to the success of the Israeli teams in the European competitions such as the Euroleague, ULEB Eurocup (formerly ULEB Cup) and FIBA's EuroChallenge (formerly EuroCup). Many undrafted and free agent players from Europe and the NBA play in the Israeli league as an alternative to NBA competition.

The league is the first division in Israeli basketball: the two team that finishes last in a season is relegated to the Second Division, while the Second Division's top 8 team compete in play-off system right after the end of the regular season and the teams that reached the final series are promoted to the Premier League for the following season. The four teams that finish the season on top compete against each other for the Championship title in a "Final Four" tournament format.

=Links with the NBA=

During the 1980s and the early 1990s there were many basketball games between the Israeli League stars and NBA teams such as the Phoenix Suns, the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Orlando Magic, all of which were played in Israel.

In October 2005, Maccabi Tel Aviv defeated the Toronto Raptors 105-103 in an exhibition game that was played in Toronto, Canada; this was the first victory for a European team over an NBA team at its home court.

Over the years, the league has exported many of its foreign players to the NBA. However, as of 2008, no Israeli-born player has played in the NBA, although three players have been drafted: Doron Sheffer (who played U.S. college basketball at Connecticut), Yotam Halperin and Lior Eliyahu.

Titles by team

League champions

ee also

*Israeli Basketball State Cup
*Israel Basketball Association

Notes and references

External links

* [ Official website]
* [ IL-Sports] Israeli Sport Website in English

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