Kosta Iliev: The Balkan League proved its place in the calendar
The NF and Senior Manager FIBA - Mr. Kosta Iliev was one of the special guest of SIGAL-UNIQA Balkan League′s Final Four. He visited Samokov and watched all the games like he did 9 years ago when the league started. Here is what Iliev had to say about all he saw during the Final 4 and all of his impression during all the years:
"The league proved that it has its place in the regional calendar. It′s a fact that it′s being played already 10 season, there are good teams and the games are really nice. There was no game with big difference in the Final Four, each one was really contested from both sides and on a good level. There are also a lot of local players which to me is the most important thing. This is the key for the success of this league.
Over the years I′ve been impressed with the fact that always there was an interest for this league and teams who were ready to participate. The level is stable, it′s a good European level and there are benefits for all participating teams and mainly for the local players. I was happy with the fact the the main players in both Bulgarian teams were Bulgarians. They are playing for the national team and it′s obvious that also the federations benefit from this competition.
The league has its place in the calendar and there is an interest for participation. The management just doesn′t have to look for too much commercialization. It′s just that our region is not the richest one in Europe so there are not too much reserves there. It′s important to focus on the sports side and the possibility for local players to take part in an international competition.
I think that the things are going really well. My work is interesting and there is always something new. One of our main goals in FIBA is to charmonize sync the international calendar which is really important for the development of basketball in general and especially in Europe. The basketball is a global sport, developed all over the world but due to the problems that exist in Europe, our continent is having difficulties recently. We can see that the best European players go to play in USA since young age because they can′t realize themselves in Europe. One of the problems for that is the calendar. We are hoping that all the issues will be solved soon with the help also of international institutions, including the European uni?n."