A preseason game next autumn between current Eurocup semifinalists Uxue Bilbao Basket of Spain and the Philadelphia 76ers of the NBA was presented during a press conference on Monday at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao that featured the presence of executives from all participating entities. The game will take place on October 6, 2013 at the 15,000-seat Bilbao Arena and will benefit from the sponsorship of local bank BBVA. As one of two games between Euroleague Basketball and NBA teams in Europe next fall, the Bilbao-Philadelphia contest highlights the ongoing collaboration between the two top leagues in world basketball. Over the last seven years, teams from the two competitions have faced each other in 48 pre-season exhibition games on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. This will mark the first such game in Bilbao, while for the second year in a row, Euroleague team Fenerbahce Ulker Istanbul will host an NBA opponent, Oklahoma City, on October 5.
Comments from Monday's press conference:
Jordi Bertomeu, Euroleague Basketball President and CEO
"I want to highlight the sense of endeavor, vocation and dedication that Bilbao, with the help of local authorities, has for basketball. The collaboration we have with the NBA has permitted us to be together in many cities in both Europe and North America. It's a good collaboration and in the future we will improve the product we are offering fans."
Jesus Bueno, NBA Europe Vice President
"It's a pleasure to be here to announce this game within the agreement we have with Euroleague Basketball. The game will be part of a European tour our teams are making this season. This is the second year that BBVA will be the presenting sponsor of such games. We have been working together with the delegation and the Bilbao city hall. There will be many events during the weekend of this game: three-on-three tournaments, cheerleaders and activities for kids."
Andoni Aldekoa - Bilbao City Hall, General Director
"The game between Uxue Bilbao Basket and the Philadelphia 76ers is not just a sporting event, but a city project, with a business from our territory, BBVA, as the event sponsor. There will be an element of game promotion in America, which will heighten the international presence of Bilbao for our companies and our tourism sector. I want to thank basketball and in particular Uxue Bilbao Basket for being part of this event in Bilbao."
German Del Valle - BBVA, Commercial Director, Northern Spain
"This is the first time that the NBAwill play in Bilbao, and Bilbao is the birthplace of BBVA. We are here because as a bank connected with sports and with basketball, we wanted to bring the NBA as the world's most-watched league. We want to identify ourselves with the values that basketball represents."
Imanol Pradales - Deputy, Basque Economic Delegation
"The game will be October 6, but the collaboration with the NBA won't end there. Instead, this cooperation will allow Bilbao and the Basque Country to have international presence. This puts us on the map in an important market for us, the United States."