By Aris Barkas/ firstname.lastname@example.org
While eight teams will be fighting for a Top16 ticket in the last gameday of Euroleague’s regular season, some others will have the luxury of picking their Top16 group. Because of the new Euroleague format which has already created the composition of next phase’s groups according to their regular season standings, already qualified teams, like Laboral Kutxa and Lokomotiv Kuban, will have the choice to select their opponents.
How can this happen? After Thursday’s result between Panathinaikos and Maccabi Tel Aviv, Lokomotiv and Laboral will know in which place they will end up if they win or lose the game and that means different Top16 group. In case of a Panathinaikos’ success, Kuban with a win gets the second place, with a defeat by one point will be third and with a defeat by two or more point fourth. The situation is similar in Group A between CSKA and Barcelona, however Group D is the prime example.
At this point only Olympiacos (Group E), Real Madrid, Maccabi Tel Aviv and Galatasaray (Group F) are locked in their Top16 group and everything else will be decided in the last gameday. So it will be interesting to see if indeed someone decides to chose a Top16 group, specially via a defeat.