World basketball map: Colombia

World basketball map: Colombia

We are recalling all foreign players that have ever played in the League, telling about foreign championships and National teams of different countries in World basketball map project. Today we’re going to talk about basketball in Colombia.

Population: 50,4 mln
Players in the history of League: 1.
Full list of players: Juan Palacios.

Juan Palacios graduated from school in New York, has played for Louisville University and in 2008 started his professional career in Spain. Colombian forward  spent 2013/14 season in Lietuvos Rytas, who participated in VTB United League back then.

In VTB League Palacios was his team leader in efficiency (16,5) and rebounds (6,5) and moreover he beat the buzzer with the game-winner against Kalev.

Besides, being Lietuvos Rytas player Juan Palacios became 2013/14 Lithuanian championship regular season MVP and was an LKL All-Star.

Basketball in Colombia

League: Liga Profesional de Baloncesto (LBP)
Founded: in 1988
Number of teams: 7
League’s web-site

Colombian League was founded in 1988 and throughout the history of the League 28 teams have participated in LBP. In 2019 season 7 clubs participated in the championship.

LBP season usually starts in late September and ends in early December. During the season each team play 24 regular season games, after it 4 best teams make it to the play-offs. Semi-final series is played till 3 wins, while Finals are played till 4. Last 2 seasons LBP champion is Titanes from Barranquilla.

Throughout 32-year history of the League it has changed the name a few times because of title sponsor change: Copa Sprite, Copa Costeñita, Copa Invitacional FCB-SALUDCOP-IDRD, Copa Invitacional FCB-IDRD. Since 2013 the League is called Liga Directiv de Baloncesto.

Besides LBP Colombian teams also participate in South American championships. In 2019 Titanes represented Country in Liga de las Americas, and Bucaros and Barraque&Bay played in Liga Sudamericana de Baloncesto.

Интересно, что LBPIt’s interesting that LBP broadcast championship games on Facebook, championship official stats is FIBA Livestats, it’s regularly used by VTB United League and other world leagues. 

Interesting Fact

Throughout the history 35 Colombian basketball players have played in the NCAA (American University League), 17 of them have played in the first division.

Colombia National team

FIBA rank: 68
FIBA members: since 1939
Achievements: World Cup participation (1982), American Cup participation (2017)

Colombia, that has become FIBA member 81 year ago participated in big tournaments only twice. In both cases Colombia was tournament host.

In 1982 World Cup was held in Bogota, 13 teams participated. Colombia joined the tournament in the second round and couldn’t win any of 6 games, but they fought till the very end against Yugoslavia (88:97), who won bronze medals. World Cup final in Colombia was one of the brightest moments in the history of the tournament – in decisive game USSR beat USA 95:94.

In 2017 Colombia became one of three countries (with Argentina and Uruguay) that hosted American Cup. Group stage games in Medellin didn’t help National team – they lost all 3 games and couldn’t get into next stage of the tournament.

On South American tournaments, where 4 American Cup places are contested Colombia has never been higher than 5th spot. They took 5th place 8 times, 6th and 7th place – 7 times, and 8th and 9th place – one time.

Today Colombia National team is ranked 68 by FIBA, 14th among American teams.

The most famous Colombian players in history

Juan Palacios. Louisville University graduate, regular season MVP and Lithuanian championship All-Star, France and Turkey champion. Moreover, he played in Euroleague, Spain and Colombia championships.

Braian Angola. Florida State University graduate, Belgium champion, Belgium finals MVP as Ostend player. In 2017 he was playing for Colombia on American Cup and became second best scorer (12,7 points) and rebounder (5,7).

Alvaro Teheran. Houston University graduate, the first Colombian player to be selected on NBA Draft (1991, 44th pick). Center has played in Spain, USA and Slovenia, final years of his professional career he spent in Colombia.

Dmitryi Kolinov