In the third consecutive edition since its rebirth, the 2015 FIBA Euroleague Intercontinental Cup will be celebrated this fall with two games between Turkish Airlines Euroleague champion Real Madrid and 2015 FIBA Liga de las Americas champion Bauru of Brazil. Both games will be played in Brazil's largest city, Sao Paulo.
Both legs of this year's two-game series will be played at the 11,000-seat Ginasio Iberapuera. The opening game is scheduled for Friday, September 25, with Game 2 set to take place two days later. Real Madrid features former Euroleague MVP Sergio Rodríguez and current and former All-Euroleague players Felipe Reyes, Rudy Fernandez and Sergio Llull, among others.
The Intercontinental Cup was played 20 times between 1966 and 1987 before a nearly quarter-century hiatus that ended when a partnership between FIBA, FIBA Americas and Euroleague Basketball brought the competition back in 2013. Olympiacos Piraeus of Greece took the Intercontinental Cup title that year from Pinheiros Sky Sao Paulo, while last year Brazil's Flamengo defeated Maccabi Tel Aviv to win the 2014 cup.
Madrid already has four Intercontinental Cups in its trophy case, the most of any club in the competition's history. The last of those was won in 1981, when Madrid defeated E.C. Sirio, also in Sao Paulo.
Madrid won its record ninth Euroleague crown at the Turkish Airlines Euroleague Final Four in Madrid on May by defeating Olympiacos in the championship game. Bauru defeated Pioneros de Quintana Roo of Mexico for the 2015 FIBA Liga de las Americas title in March. Former Real Madrid player Rafael Hettsheimeir was the top scorer for Bauru in the final game, which also featured former Euroleague player Alex Garcia.
In addition to the Intercontinental Cup, Madrid and other Turkish Airlines Euroleague clubs will compete in a series of preseason exhibition games in Europe, North America and Asia. Real Madrid and EA7 Emporio Armani Milan will host the Boston Celtics as part of the NBA Global Games.
The Euroleague Basketball World Tour 2015 will feature several more signature teams of the Euroleague. On the Asia leg of the tour, Panathinaikos Athens will play the Zhejiang Lions and Guangdong Tigers in late September in China. On the USA leg of the tour, Maccabi Tel Aviv and EA7 Milan will square off against each other in Chicago and New York, a first for two Euroleague teams in North America. Finally, in the club's first visit to the U.S., Fenerbahce will face both the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Brooklyn Nets.
Jordi Bertomeu, Euroleague Basketball President and CEO:
"We are looking forward to experiencing another basketball celebration in Brazil with the Intercontinental Cup, this time with the winningest club in European history, Real Madrid. We are sure that fans will once again enjoy this great event that connects two continents and without doubt contributes to the growth of basketball."
Alberto Garcia, FIBA Americas Executive Director:
“It is a real joy for us to once again have the champions of the Americas and Europe come together in the Intercontinental Cup. Since its rebirth, the two editions have been a tremendous success and Brazilian fans have embraced it as a flagship event in the country’s sporting calendar. To have both Bauru and a world-renowned club like Real Madrid this year is sure to add to the tradition and make it a spectacle for both the history books and the enjoyment of basketball fans everywhere.”
Juan Carlos Sanchez, Real Madrid General Manager:
"We feel very proud to play in a competition that Real Madrid has won four times and that FIBA, FIBA Americas and Euroleague Basketball have wisely brought back for the fans. Real Madrid will travel to Sao Paulo with great excitement to represent European basketball against a team like Bauru, which showcases all the qualities of a fast-rising basketball country like Brazil and which, without doubt, is the best example of how basketball is growing in Latin America."
Vitinho Jacob, Bauru General Manager:
"We are very honored to represent the Americas, our national league and more importantly Brazil in this Intercontinental Cup that for our club signifies the culmination of an unforgettable season. We will do everything in our power to win it and have our country defend this historic Intercontinental Cup."