The Spanish basketball league – La Liga ACB

The ACB League is the highest category of Spanish basketball for men. It´s also called Liga Endesa, for sponsorship reasons. It´s considered the second-best basketball league in the world, only after the almighty NBA.

Show more
Find the best odds on Basketball

History of La Liga ACB

The highest Spanish basketball league, La Liga ACB, dates back to 1983. The Endesa League is the successor to the Spanish Basketball League, which was organized by the Spanish Basketball Federation since 1957. But in September 1983, the recently created Association of Basketball Clubs (ACB) decided to take charge and create The ACB League. With that, it was the end for the old First Division, or the National Basketball League in Spain.

A single list of winners

Although the new basketball league was organized by another entity and changed its name, it´s considered the successor of the First Division of the Spanish Basketball League. Therefore, there is not a list of winners for the years 1957–1983 and another for 1983 and onwards: there is only one list of winners since the beginning of professional basketball in Spain. Let us take a look at which are the teams that have won the most titles.

Real Madrid Basketball and FC Barcelona

As in the soccer league La Liga Santander, the teams that dominate are FC Barcelona and Real Madrid. Between them, they have won 53 of the 63 titles, quite remarking! Real Madrid Basketball has won 35 titles and has 12 runners-up. FC Barcelona, on its part, has 18 titles and have come second 21 times. 16 of FC Barcelona’s titles are from the La Liga ACB, 3 more than Real Madrid. In other words, Real Madrid Basketball has much more titles from the old First Division of the Spanish Basketball League.

First Division of the Spanish Basketball League

Before continuing with La Liga Endesa, we will talk a little more about the old First Division of the Spanish Basketball League. It was a league system with no play-offs. Therefore, all the teams played each other twice. One game at home and then the second game from home. The victory gave two points and the tie one during that time as the basketball regulations actually did contemplate the tie on points. The team that had the most points at the end of the season was proclaimed the Spanish basketball champion.

The champions could play the European Cup

The First Division champion could then participate in the European Basketball Cup, organized by FIBA (the International Basketball Federation). This tournament is the precursor to the current Euroleague. It is a tournament with an enormous level, played by the best teams of the Old Continent. It is also known as the Turkish Airlines Euroleague, for sponsorship reasons.

Spanish Basketball – The ACB League

In La Liga ACB there are currently 18 teams that play in a league in which each team faces the others twice (once at home and once away). A curiosity is that when the first round ends, the top eight teams in the table qualify for the Spanish Basketball Cup, Copa del Rey de Baloncesto, or The King´s Cup.

The Endesa League play-offs

The old basketball league did not have play-offs, but the ACB League does. So, at the end of the regular phase of the ACB League, the top eight teams in the table play each other in play-offs. The eight best teams in La Liga Endesa are paired according to their classification in the regular phase. Then they play a play-off tournament in best-of-three (best of five games in the final). The winning team of the play-off final is proclaimed champion of the La Liga ACB.

The fight to avoid relegation from La Liga ACB

The teams that finish in the last two places in La Liga Endesa are relegated to the Second Division of basketball, called LEB Oro or Addeco Oro.

Only four clubs have played all the editions

Since the creation of La Liga ACB, only four clubs have played in all the editions of the top basketball competition in Spain: Barça, Real Madrid, Joventut and Estudiantes.

Betting and odds in the basketball league La Liga ACB

As we said at the start of this article, La Liga Endesa is the second-best league in the world after the NBA in the United States. When we say “the second-best national league” it is because there are also supranational leagues, like the Euroleague and the Eurocup and these are obviously considered better than the Spanish La Liga ACB. Thanks to this elevated level of basketball, there are good opportunities to place sports bets on La Liga Endesa. Virtually all bookmakers offer odds to bet on basketball. And we can find a lot of information about the Spanish basketball league in the media.