FIBA International Christmas Tournament also known as the Christmas Tournament (Torneo de Navidad) was a men's basketball international friendly competition at the club level (and in some editions with national teams), organized by FIBA at its first decades through the Commission of International Organizations under the hand of Raimundo Saporta, club director and president of the International Commission of the International Basketball Federation (FIBA), and with the authorization and support of R. William Jones, its general secretary, so it had the officiality of FIBA in its first decades of life, being also the starting point of the FIBA Intercontinental Cup, whose first edition appears in the history of this competition. After 1980, the tournament transitioned to being an festive exhibition, although it still garnered attention and popularity.
|No. of teams||4|
| Real Madrid|
|Most titles|| Real Madrid|
The competition was held for the first time in January 1966 with the name of FIBA Intercontinental Cup on the occasion of the inauguration of the new basketball venue of Real Madrid, the Pabellón de la Ciudad Deportiva (later called the "Raimundo Saporta Pavilion"). This edition also served as the starting point of the FIBA Intercontinental Cup (later known as the FIBA Club World Cup), whose results were valid for the first edition of the aforementioned competition of the highest basketball organism, and whose first trophy It was the same as the one used in the FIBA International Christmas Tournament until 1980.
The second edition of the Christmas Tournament was baptized at the time as Latin Cup, due to the origin of the participating teams (there was a competition called Latin Cup in 1953 that only had an edition, although the one of December 1966 counts as the second edition of the Christmas Tournament), and it was not until the third edition, in 1967, when the tournament was renamed by the popular and better-known FIBA International Tournament Christmas – Torneo de Navidad – (also known as the "Trophy Raimundo Saporta", and later "Memorial Fernando Martín", together with the denomination of Christmas Tournament, as well as "Philips Trophy" from its beginnings and El Corte Inglés from 1981 until the end of the 80s). That is, FIBA organized, Philips put the money and Real Madrid yielded the field, with the approval and consent of the FEB. As of 1981, Real Madrid, with the sponsorship of the English Court (until 1989, subsequently replacing other sponsors), managed the tournament, although their relations with FIBA continued.
Despite the tournament's perceived importance at the time, it is considered nowadays a friendly competition, although the prestige of the twelve silver medals of the winner for the contenders was maximum, since until 1980 it had the official status and the protection of FIBA. However, the first edition of the International Christmas Tournament made the FIBA Intercontinental Basketball Cup officially emerge, a competition that "merengues" would go on to win four times.
It could be said that the International Christmas Tournament, while it was under the auspices and organization of the FIBA (1966–1980), had a rank of para-official competition, that is, that it had an official rank or character (although it was not considered like this at present), but it worked as such at that time. For what was an international friendly competition of an official nature. Although from 1981 it was managed by Real Madrid, the Committee of International Activities of FIBA was behind it. In fact it was the starting point of the FIBA Intercontinental Cup, and whose second edition of this tournament (called Copa Latina in that edition), already breaking away from the Intercontinental, continued under the organization and official FIBA in everything concerning the delivery of trophies and the FIBA emblem on the podium, as well as FIBA referees, but the fact that its last decades were largely managed by Real Madrid, because it gave the competition, for all intents and purposes, a friendly character, despite its weight, importance and notoriety, but above all due to the fact that its participants acceded by invitation (although in the FIBA Club World Cup as well). In short, the officiality of FIBA was languishing as of 1980 (despite the fact that FIBA and its committee were still behind the event, as attested by the presence, year after year, of FIBA referees) and redefining itself in a friendly tournament (from 1980), although of great prestige for all tale meant and the international character of it.
The competition featured three different trophy models throughout its history. The first gold and granted by FIBA until 1980, the second granted by Real Madrid together with its sponsor El Corte Inglés during the time that the sponsorship lasted (1981-1989), and the third trophy model that granted Real Madrid during his last decades.
- ^ José Luis Alises Moreno. "Torneo Internacional de Navidad". Retrieved 6 September 2022.
- ^ a b "Reportaje - LA FIBA, o la geopolítica en el baloncesto". El País. 24 January 1985. Retrieved 15 November 2017.
- ^ a b Relaño, Alfredo (23 December 2012). "Aquel torneo de todas las Navidades". El País. Retrieved 15 November 2017.
- ^ Martin Tello (24 December 2004). "El Torneo de Navidad se despide tras 40 años". as.com. Retrieved 6 September 2022.
- ^ "El Corte Inglés presento el Torneo de Navidad". El País. 11 December 1981. Retrieved 15 November 2017.
- ^ a b "ABC (Madrid) - 24/12/1993, p. 81 - ABC.es Hemeroteca". hemeroteca.abc.es. Retrieved 15 November 2017.
- ^ Antonio García (16 December 2019). "Intrahistorias y cuentos de los torneos de Navidad. Cuando España se paraba a ver el baloncesto…". gigantes.com. Retrieved 6 September 2022.
- ^ Cañas, Jose Maria. "PMB Los Ojos del Tigre". Losojosdeltigre.com. Retrieved 15 November 2017.