11th BWBL championship tipped off in October

At the end of March, 2004, in Druskininkai, BWBL celebrated its decade. During the celebration the founders, upholders as well as sponsors of the league were honored.
The founders of the BWBL – the president, Professor Kazimiera Prunskiene and Vice-president Uljana Semionova, who is a legendary basketball player herself – have been in charge of the league for eleven years.
On the 1st of October the BWBL opened its 11th season in Riga, Minsk, Tallinn, Gardin, Kaunas and Marijampole. 17 women basketball teams from 8 countries are going to compete in this championship. Most of the teams are the winners of the national championships or the prizewinners.
The best teams of Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Russia and Belarus have been competing in the BWBL since its foundation. In addition, the team Pantterit from Finland joined the championship five years ago. And, in this, 11th championship, we will have teams from Ukraine (TIM SKIF, Kiev) and Uzbekistan (NIKA, Navoi).
There will be some changes in the system of the championship as well. That is, 15 teams will have to play one round on tour, and after this 6 of them will be allowed to play in semifinals.
There are a lot of well known players among the participants of the championship, e. g. J. Ðtreimikytë–Virbickienë, I. Baranauskaitë, J. Vilutytë. Besides, there are a lot of players who are the members of national basketball teams.
It is gratifying that national teams from Latvia and Lithuania will participate in the 30th European women’s basketball championship in Turkey in 2005. And the members of these teams are the participants of the BWBL as well. And the national teams of Finland and Ukraine still have chances of advancing to the final round of Euro 2005.

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