DirecTV Liga Sudamericana
The DIRECTV Liga Sudamericana continues to go from strength to strength and now has two decades of storied history to its name.
It is brimming over with a plethora of special memories for those who have been left thrilled by the very best South American men’s clubs going head-to-head in pursuit of the highly coveted silverware.
The twentieth edition during 2015 was a historic one as UniCEUB of Brazil beat San Martin de Corrientes 82-79 in the second game of the Grand Final. It meant they became only the second club in the history of the tournament to lift the title for a third time.
Playmaker Deryk Evandro Ramos was a difference-maker after the MVP made consecutive game-winning shots to ensure the club from Brasilia drew level with Atenas of Argentina in a previously exclusive club of three-time champions.
As an added incentive, the Liga Sudamericana provides the springboard for those who reign supreme to move up to a greater challenge - since it is a pathway to the DIRECTV Liga de las Americas.
UniCEUB also lifted the newly named ‘Horacio Muratore Trophy’ – an honour bestowed on the FIBA President, who has been a driving force behind both the inception of the tournament and its consequent evolution down the years.
The competition started in February of 1996 and the maiden event was won by Olimpia de Venado Tuerto of Argentina, who squeezed out Corinthians of Brazil.
Their initial success was followed by their compatriots Atenas, who won their first title in 1997 and achieved the distinction of being the first club to successfully defend it – as well as the first team to deliver a third success when they also arrived on the top step of the podium in 2004.
Vasco da Gama made a breakthrough for Brazilian basketball at the fourth attempt in 1999 and they also defended their cherished crown – thanks to some major help from Dominican Republic star Jose Vargas, who still to this day is the only MVP of the competition who wasn’t from Argentina, Brazil or USA.
Clubs from Argentina then jumped back into the box-seat, sharing six of seven titles between 2001 and 2008 – their dominant streak only punctuated in 2005 by Uberlandia in a historic, first ever all-Brazilian Final.
The most recent era has seen the pendulum swing back towards clubs from Brazil, with UniCEUB cementing titles between the high tide mark set by Bauru in 2014.
There was also a major note of history made a year earlier in 2013, when Aguada of Uruguay became the first team from outside of Argentina and Brazil to make it to the showpiece game – although they went on to lose the Final 93-81.
For more information and the results of the 2015 edition click here.