ACB League—where ACB stands for Asociación de Clubes de Baloncesto (Basketball Clubs Association)—is a relatively modern Spanish competition (created in 1983) which represents a sequel of the traditional National Basketball League, whose first edition took place back in 1957. The idea of creating a nationwide tournament issued from the need to fulfill the eagerness of Spanish basketball fans for a long-term competition, since neither the different regional tournaments nor the Spanish Championship (modern King's Cup) did just that. However, the main boost came from Raimundo Saporta, vice-president of Real Madrid and president of CIO (Commission for International Organizations), who wished to see "his Madrid" playing in the brand-new Champions Cup, a right that FIBA reserved only to the national winners in the different European leagues (Spain was one of the few countries that didn't have this competition yet).

Thus, the first Basketball National League was a merger that gathered the four best teams in Catalonia (Juventud Badalona, Aismalíbar, Barcelona, Orillo Verde) and the two best teams in Castile (Real Madrid, Estudiantes), which competed on a home-and-away basis from March 31 through May 19, 1957. The Catalonian teams played all their matches at Montjuïc Arena, while the Madrilenians shared the "Fiesta Alegre" Court. The tournament was resolved in the last competition day, in a Barcelona-Real Madrid game at Montjuïc, where the "blue-reds" beat the "whites" by 60-50; although both teams tied for first place, Barcelona couldn't overcome the score in Madrid: 73-55. Thus, the first official title was won by Real Madrid.

The main change brought about by the modern ACB League as compared with the former National League was the "shoot-out" confrontation of teams, after Regular Season, in playoffs, where almost any outcome is possible. History says that the team finishing in the first place after the league stage is most likely to be the final champion.


• Official scores and statistics of the Spanish Basketball Federation (FEB) from season 1968-69 on, and Basketball Clubs Association (ACB) from season 1983-84 on. Additional information sources: basketball magazines Rebote (1960-), Gigantes (1985-) and newspapers El Mundo Deportivo (1941-), Marca (1942-), As (1967-). From 1985 on, when I started collecting my first statistics on paper, then with an Olivetti typewriter and finally using WordPerfect 5.1 for DOS in an IBM computer (sweet old days...), scores and statistics are registered "on real time."

• Between years 1970 and 2003, only the reference date for each competition day is indicated (usually Sundays or Thursdays). Especially after the creation of ACB League in 1983, some weekly games are played the day before (Saturday or Wednesday).