19 September, 2017
06 May, 2018
Power Rankings: AEK lead the way, but will the Top Four also be the Final Four?
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Power Rankings: AEK lead the way, but will the Top Four also be the Final Four?

MIES (Basketball Champions League) - Down to eight teams, we are checking in on our Power Rankings to see how they line up ahead of the Second Leg of the Quarter-Finals. Just a games away from a place at Final Four now!


Pinar Karsiyaka's games are impossible to guess. Just take the one over the weekend, they got 35 from Jarrod Jones, 18 and 11 assists from Dominic Waters, Scott Wood, Erdi Gulaslan and D.J. Kennedy were also in double figures, KSK scored 41 in the last quarter, 105 overall - away from home...aaaaaand they lost. 108-105 to Trabzonspor. Same offense, better defense if they want to take UCAM Murcia out of the competition this week. 


It's not over yet. Right? Don't count out Saso Filipovski's ability to adapt, Banvit's coach probably didn't leave the video room after Game One, trying to carve out some soft spots of AS Monaco. The key is to hold the opponent below 85 points, Banvit are 0-3 when allowing 85+ points in the Basketball Champions League. Bad news? AS Monaco scored 90, 89, 88, 79, 94, 87, 83 and 90 at home this season... Even in those two games they went below 85, they still won comfortably. 


SIG Strasbourg fans must have enjoyed the game against Boulazac over the weekend. Dee Bost, David Logan and Miro Bilan found the shooting touch that was missing in Game One against AEK, the win took them to the top spot of the French League, and the home crowd warmed up nicely for the game against AEK. They had defeated AEK twice this season, but with a combined score of +3. Chasing a 10-point win will not be easy, but win each quarter by 3 points, and you're there, guys!


Of all the "home-losers" we had last week, MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg are the ones in best position to bounce back. The trip to Bayreuth isn't that long, they know all about the environment from their domestic battles, and coach John Patrick will remind his guys to stay in the system that was running so well for MHP all season long. Rebounding is the key in this one, Bayreuth out-rebounded them 42-32 last time around. 


It took nerves of steel to steal a win in Turkey, and UCAM Murcia followed it up perfectly. Experience of winning in hostile territory came in handy over the weekend, Murcia celebrated Easter with an 84-73 win away at Valencia, yes, the Spanish reigning champs! And with the club asking their fans to be "a bit more Turkish" this week, home cooking must be the ingredient that takes them to the Final Four of an international competition. 


Happy birthday, coach Raoul Korner! medi Bayreuth seem like the German team that will advance to the Final Four, their offense was perfect in Game One. Bayreuth were on pace to score 116 points in 100 possessions, which is 20 points more than Ludwigsburg usually allow at that rate. 
(That's just a nerdy way to say: "medi Bayreuth are good at basketball.") 


For the first time in... ever? AS Monaco are not at the top of the standings in the French League! Limoges defeated the Monstars 82-74, Banvit surely watched that game thinking, "WE CAN DO THE SAME!" But Monaco are a different team at home, they have lost only three games in their backyard all season long, in all competitions, and none of those three was with a margin of 8+ points. Also, Monaco are 17-0 at home in Basketball Champions League's two seasons. Tough task for Banvit. 


All hail The Queen! AEK broke our attendance record last week, and looked fine on the court, too. A 9-point win, with Vasilis Xanthopoulos emerging as the unsung hero. Backup point guard scored just a couple of points in 14 minutes of work, but also had 4 assists, 3 steals and AEK were a +13 team with him running the point. With Punter, Harris, Sakota doing the scoring, guys like Xanthopoulos, Larentzakis and Vasilopoulos are often overlooked. Not anymore, we are putting them top of the table!  

*The power rankings are entirely subjective and is in no way a true, accurate ranking systems. All comments are purely those of the author.