The Basketball Bundesliga , for sponsorship reasons named easyCredit BBL, is the highest level league of professional club basketball in Germany. The league comprises 18 teams. A BBL season is split into a league stage and a playoff stage. At the end of the league stage, the top eight teams qualify for the playoff stage, and the teams positioned in the 17th and 18th places are relegated to a lower tier league. The playoffs are played in a "Best of five" format. The winning team of the final round are crowned the German Champions of that season.
In addition to the league competition, all BBL teams compete for the German Cup . Teams playing in the second league , or in a lower level Regionalliga, are also eligible to participate in the German Cup. There are always 3 knock-out rounds that are played for the BBL-Cup. If more teams from the leagues below the BBL level apply for participation, then available places, and additional qualification rounds are added for them. The final four remaining teams determine the rankings for bronze, silver, and gold medals, in knock-out matches that are termed the BBL-TOP4. The gold winning team is the German Cup winner.
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