The National Superior Basketball League of Puerto Rico —or Liga Baloncesto Superior Nacional De Puerto Rico (BSN) in Spanish— was established in 1933 and has produced a handful of Puerto Rico's larger towns. Each year, the regular season is played to a length of either 30 or 33 games per team, and then there is a round robin pitting the best 8 teams of the season, after which the best 4 start the semi-final series, to be played to a best of 7, followed by the finals, also to a best of 7.
In 2004, the Ponce Lions won their twelfth franchise BSN title by beating the Coamo Marathon Runners, who were making their first franchise trip to the finals, four games to three, with a game seven score of 92-77. The Lions trail the Vaqueros de Bayamon and Atleticos de San German in all time championships; those two franchises are tied with thirteen titles apiece.
The BSN was a struggling league economically until the 1980s, when, with Genaro 'Tuto' Marchand as President, an explosion of basketball popularity happened all over Puerto Rico. Basketball tumbled Baseball as the Puerto Rican fan's 2nd favorite sport after boxing at that time.
The fact that WAPA-TV channel 4 transmitted 6 games a week for the whole island to see, was a major contributor to this change in popularity. These games were shown Sundays at 2 pm, Sundays at 9 pm, Wednesday nights at 9, Friday nights at 9, and Saturdays at 2 pm and at 9 pm.
During that time, legends like Mario 'Quijote' Morales, Raymond Dalmau, Jose 'Piculin' Ortiz, Jerome Mincy, Georgie Torres, Angelo Cruz, Angel 'Cachorro' Santiago, Federico 'Fico' Lopez and Ruben Rodriguez showcased their talents to all Puerto Rican TV viewers and game goers.
After Hetin Reyes took the league over there were economic problems, but in part this is due to the rise in the cost of living. Nevertheless, the league continues to operate with 12 franchises and is looking at the future with optimism.
Currently, the leagues games are showcased on Puerto Rico's Deportes 13 television channel.
- bsnpr.com (http://www.bsnpr.com) - official site (in Spanish)