By Aris Barkas/ firstname.lastname@example.org
With a trophy and two Turkish Airlines EuroLeague tickets on the line, the 7DAYS EuroCup teams went to work this summer. Some of the most impressive moves around Europe, the signings of Sam Dekker and Milos Teodosic, were made by EuroCup teams. The stakes are higher than ever and merely having a good team might not be enough.
While the EuroCup remains more unpredictable than the EuroLeague, it goes without saying that some of the clubs already have the talent for the top European competitions and you should expect them to fire at all cylinders right away. That’s why creating this version of the Power Rankings was a real pleasure and also a realization that the level of competition has risen impressively.
1. Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar
They created a buzz with the signing of Sam Dekker, and they also added Italian coach Lucca Banchi and players like Johnny O’Bryant, Mantas Kalnietis, and Will Cummings. Lokomotiv wants to run the tracks to the title, and the question is: Can anyone block their way?
2. Unicaja Malaga
They failed last season against ALBA Berlin, but they remain one of the best EuroCup teams and the trophy winners of the 2016-17 season. That’s why once more they are title contenders. They have a mix of great local talent and Euro-veterans like Melvin Ejim, Frank Elegar and Deon Thompson who can get the job done.
3. UNICS Kazan
UNICS continued to build on last season’s foundation with the additions of Alex Tyus and Vangelis Mantzaris. Having two guys with vast EuroLeague experience on a EuroCup roster is a big plus, and UNICS has waited almost a decade since winning the EuroCup title in 2011. Yes, they are aiming as high as possible.
4. Segafredo Virtus Bologna
This is a team to watch, and the reason has a name: Milos Teodosic. Mind you, he will not be alone. Coach Sasa Djordjevic has created an excellent roster that also includes Stefan Markovic, Vince Hunter, Frank Gaines, Kyle Weems, and Julian Gamble. This is a team destined to make big things and return to past glories.