The 2020-21 Basketball Champions League Preview

2020-10-19T12:39:14+00:00 2020-10-19T12:39:14+00:00.

Stefan Djordjevic

19/Oct/20 12:39

Eurohoops.net

The 2020-21 Basketball Champions League is ready for the tip-off and it will be the most competitive one so far

By Stefan Djordjevic/ info@eurohoops.net

Amidst all the uncertainty worldwide due to COVID-19 and especially so in basketball, the fifth season of the Basketball Champions League will tip off in hopes to find its way to crowning a champion.

“It’s not just essential to start the competition, it’s essential to conclude it,” BCL CEO Patrick Comninos stated and there’s no reason to believe otherwise as the organization has proven its capability in the years past and most importantly in successfully completing the past season with a Final Eight.

New Format

One of the things BCL has done to cope with the uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus, whether it’s specifically positives among teams or issues with traveling restrictions, was to split the 32 teams into eight groups of four instead of four groups with eight squads.

The teams will also play every other week and such a schedule allows for far more adaptability. Fewer games, less travel, more space to postpone the matchups if needed and BCL counts it will happen, especially so in the next few months as the winter takes over and, unfortunately, COVID-19 as well.

“All the information that we’ve had from our medical experts is that over the next three months, until January, the situation in Europe is not gonna get much better when it comes to COVID-19,” Comninos noted.

Additional steps to ease the season for the clubs have been to move the deadline for player registration as well as to allow registration of youth players (no older than 20) ‘on the go’, that is, during the regular season and even on the same day of the game as a replacement for COVID positives.

The steps taken have certainly been very important and as fate would have it, their use has been shown already at the start, with the opening Gameday.

Gameday 1

Out of eight games that were supposed to take place in the opening week, three have been postponed for the next available Gameday.

Games in question are AEK – Tsmoki-Minsk, Tofas Bursa – ERA Nymburk, and Cholet – Hapoel Holon. The other five games will be held.

JDA Dijon – Keravnos and Iberostar Tenerife – Bakken Bears will open the season on October 20 while Nizhny Novgorod – Falco Szombathely, Pszczolka Start Lublin – Casademont Zaragoza, and Dinamo Sassari – Galatasaray will follow on October 21.

There will be ample action, despite the postponements, as a few last-season title-contenders clash against newcomers who are expected to ‘spice up’ the competition.

Dijon, Tenerife and Zaragoza have all been a part of the BCL Final Eight in Athens which perhaps gives them somewhat of a head start to the season while, on the other side, Keravnos, Start Lublin and Galatasaray will debut in the competition. Bakken Bears make their return after a few years while Falco, Nizhny, and Sassari were highly competitive last season with the latter two making it to the Round of 16.

October 20

Tenerife – Bakken Bears 20:30 CET
Dijon – Keravnos 20:30 CET

October 21

Nizhny Novgorod – Falco Szombathely 18:00 CET
Start Lublin – Zaragoza 18:30 CET
Sassari – Galatasaray 20:30 CET

A dozen of new challengers

Speaking of newcomers, there is a total of 12 teams that will debut in the competition’s regular season this year. Besides the three above-mentioned, there are also Tofas, Darussafaka, Cholet, Limoges, Bilbao, Fortitudo Bologna, Rytas, Igokea, and Tsmoki-Minsk.

Perhaps newcomers but there are quite a bit of familiar and respectable names amongst them and it wouldn’t be a surprise if some of them establish the epithet of a title-contender right off the bat.

Besides, if San Pablo Burgos‘ road to the title didn’t inspire them and give some confidence going forward, what will?

It won’t be easy by any means to go past the group of old favorites which now includes the Burgos squad. AEK, Sassari, Tenerife, Hapoel Jerusalem, Turk Telekom, just to name some have all established themselves already and those that participated in the Final Eight had a chance to test their roster and adjust to the upcoming challenges. That will be an advantage going forward, especially early on.

New teams also bring new faces and while many will take advantage of the chance to shine, here are the ten players that are expected to surely grab some attention.

However the upcoming season turns out, one thing is for sure. It has never featured a more competitive lineup and the new format should also bring out the best from teams as every game will be very important in the race for a playoff spot and just a few points more or less could be the difference between advancing or staying home.

Group A

GAMES STREAK GAME POINTS POINTS
# Team P W L % Last 5 For Agt +/- FA AA
1  Bakken Bears 0 0 0 0
0 0 0 0 0 0
2  Dinamo Sassari 0 0 0 0
0 0 0 0 0 0
3  Galatasaray 0 0 0 0
0 0 0 0 0 0
4  Iberostar Tenerife 0 0 0 0
0 0 0 0 0 0

Group B

GAMES STREAK GAME POINTS POINTS
# Team P W L % Last 5 For Agt +/- FA AA
1  ERA Nymburk 0 0 0 0
0 0 0 0 0 0
2  JDA Dijon 0 0 0 0
0 0 0 0 0 0
3  Keravnos 0 0 0 0
0 0 0 0 0 0
4  Tofas Bursa 0 0 0 0
0 0 0 0 0 0

Group C

GAMES STREAK GAME POINTS POINTS
# Team P W L % Last 5 For Agt +/- FA AA
1  AEK 0 0 0 0
0 0 0 0 0 0
2  Cholet 0 0 0 0
0 0 0 0 0 0
3  Hapoel Holon 0 0 0 0
0 0 0 0 0 0
4  Tsmoki-Minsk 0 0 0 0
0 0 0 0 0 0

Group D

GAMES STREAK GAME POINTS POINTS
# Team P W L % Last 5 For Agt +/- FA AA
1  Casademont Zaragoza 0 0 0 0
0 0 0 0 0 0
2  Falco Szombathely 0 0 0 0
0 0 0 0 0 0
3  Nizhny Novgorod 0 0 0 0
0 0 0 0 0 0
4  Pszczólka Start Lublin 0 0 0 0
0 0 0 0 0 0

Group E

GAMES STREAK GAME POINTS POINTS
# Team P W L % Last 5 For Agt +/- FA AA
1  Peristeri 0 0 0 0
0 0 0 0 0 0
2  Rytas Vilnius 0 0 0 0
0 0 0 0 0 0
3  SIG Strasbourg 0 0 0 0
0 0 0 0 0 0
4  VEF Riga 0 0 0 0
0 0 0 0 0 0

Group F

GAMES STREAK GAME POINTS POINTS
# Team P W L % Last 5 For Agt +/- FA AA
1  Brose Bamberg 0 0 0 0
0 0 0 0 0 0
2  Fortitudo Bologna 0 0 0 0
0 0 0 0 0 0
3  Pinar Karsiyaka 0 0 0 0
0 0 0 0 0 0
4  RETAbet Bilbao 0 0 0 0
0 0 0 0 0 0

Group G

GAMES STREAK GAME POINTS POINTS
# Team P W L % Last 5 For Agt +/- FA AA
1  Hapoel Bank Yahav Jerusalem 0 0 0 0
0 0 0 0 0 0
2  Igokea 0 0 0 0
0 0 0 0 0 0
3  Limoges CSP 0 0 0 0
0 0 0 0 0 0
4  Türk Telekom 0 0 0 0
0 0 0 0 0 0

Group H

GAMES STREAK GAME POINTS POINTS
# Team P W L % Last 5 For Agt +/- FA AA
1  Darüssafaka Tekfen 0 0 0 0
0 0 0 0 0 0
2  Filou Oostende 0 0 0 0
0 0 0 0 0 0
3  Happy Casa Brindisi 0 0 0 0
0 0 0 0 0 0
4  Hereda San Pablo Burgos 0 0 0 0
0 0 0 0 0 0

Photo Credit: Basketball Champions League