19 September, 2017
06 May, 2018
Power Rankings: Bayreuth and Karsiyaka back to the Top 10, Zielona Gora en route to Round of 16
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Power Rankings: Bayreuth and Karsiyaka back to the Top 10, Zielona Gora en route to Round of 16

MIES (Basketball Champions League) - With two Gamedays to go, Play-Offs battles are heating up. Time to update our weekly Power Rankings!





Rosa Radom were unlucky to be in one of the toughest groups in Europe this season. It is crazy to think that the Polish squad had a lead in each of the games they have played this season, yet collected only a single win - which was their worst offensive outing of the entire season, ironically. At 9-9, they will focus their attention on reaching the Polish League Play-Offs now.


SikeliArchivi Capo d'Orlando suffered their 10th straight defeat in all competitions, dropping another game at home, this time against Virtus Bologna on Sunday. Not much to add to that skid, really...


Juventus Utena's defense was good enough to limit the Ball brothers to 17 points on 6-of-18 shooting from the field in an 86-78 Juventus win away at Vytautas. But Juventus also lost to Sassari last week, failing to connect two wins in a row in the Basketball Champions League.


UNET Holon are just a win behind Maccabi Tel Aviv in Israeli League table, but at 3-9 they will not advance to the Round of 16 in the Basketball Champions League. They will use the remaining two weeks to book a place in the FIBA Europe Cup, where - with a bit of luck - they could go a long way. Wouldn't want to face them in any sort of a knockout game...


Enisey Krasnoyarsk finally won a game!! But their first win since October 31 came way too late, at 3-9 their Play-Offs campaign is long gone. Outside temperature is about -10 now, Basketball Champions League won't be around when it rises to at least 0-ish.


Petrol Olimpija's crazy scheduling woes continued throughout January, and the matchup with AEK on Tuesday will be their 14th of the month... But hey, at 6-7 so far they are ahead of the Cleveland Cavaliers (5-7), Chicago Bulls (5-8), Utah Jazz (5-7)...


Tomislave Zubčiću, pokloni se publici*!! Sharp-shooting Croat knocked down 7-of-8 shots from beyond the arc to get 33 points and guide Telekom Baskets Bonn to an impressive 106-69 win over Brose Bamberg. The trouble is that they are running out of time to make a run for the Play-Offs in Group D. They need two wins over the remaining two weeks to stay in Play-Offs contention.
*Croatian for "take a bow"


String of bad luck for The Emperor: First they lost to Besiktas Sompo Japan in OT, then followed that loss up with a 2-point slip-up against Koroivos in Greek League. Two wins behind the 8th spot in Greece, a win behind Zielona Gora in Group D... All remaining games for Aris are must-win. Everywhere.


So, Gaziantep have been winless over eight consecutive Gamedays...and yet, we could see them in the Round of 16!? Back-to-back wins in Group B, Sean Armand played out of his mind away at Ventspils - 27 points, 7 assists, 5 rebounds, just barely missing out on a Team of the Week spot.


All is well domestically, with Oostende booking their 6th straight Belgian Cup Final appearance over the weekend. But a blowout defeat to Zielona Gora gets them in even more trouble in Group D. At 5-7, they are tied with ZG and Avellino, but the tiebreakers aren't going their way.


French champions Elan Chalon defeated Dijon over the weekend, creating an opportunity to get back-to-back wins for just the third time this season. The trouble is that they are flying down south, to visit Iberostar Tenerife, the defending champions.


Italians are emotional, right? So nobody should be surprised that Dinamo Sassari fans made it known that they weren't happy with the coaching staff before the game against Torino on Saturday. However, coach Federico Pasquini and his players responded perfectly to all the boos, getting a 12-point win to keep them in the hunt for Play-Offs. Unfortunately for them, they will not see the Round of 16 in the Basketball Champions League.


Get this: Ventspils swept the defending champs Iberostar Tenerife this season. And yet, Ventspils are not among the Top 4 of their group and could stay out of the Play-Offs! 


Get this: Sidigas Avellino swept Istanbul juggernauts Besiktas Sompo Japan this season. And yet, Sidigas Avellino are not among the Top 4 of their group and could stay out of the Play-Offs!


Kelner! Get me whatever Stelmet Enea Zielona Gora are drinking! And keep it coming, please!
8-1 since Andrej Urlep took over, three straight wins in Group D... Zastal are looking like that team that will somehow sneak into the Play-Offs and cause a huge upset straight away. They still have to face Nanterre 92 and CEZ Nymburk, but after taking down Besiktas, Avellino and Oostende, who is willing to bet against them!?


Set-point PAOK: At home against Neptunas this week.
Match-point PAOK: Away from home at Ventspils on the very last day of the Regular Season. Greeks are 3-1 over the last four games in Group B, scoring 81 PPG in that stanza, and looking better than Ventspils and Elan Chalon, the other two teams at 5-7. Time to convert those good looks into results!


Remember when we said AEK are like that Seinfeld episode? They always break-even, them Even Stevens of the Basketball Champions League... And after 32 teams played 192 games over 12 Gamedays this season, only one of them is at 6-6. Yep, you've guessed it - It's AEK!


Neptunas Klaipeda have won just once over the last three games in Group B...which was good enough to put some daylight between themselves and the other Play-Offs contenders in that group. PAOK, Ventspils and Gaziantep are cancelling each other out, Neptunas are happy to watch it unfold and book that 3rd spot in the group.


Running out of fuel, huh? Movistar Estudiantes scored 10 fourth quarter points in their defeat to medi Bayreuth last week, and feel down even harder against Baskonia over the weekend, scoring just 9 points in Q4 and blowing a double-digit lead at home...


UCAM Murcia's winning run in Group A is all over, and it is hard to see them finishing in 2nd spot now. But at least they got the consolation prize, winning the Basketball Champions League derby of the Liga Endesa, taking down Iberostar Tenerife 74-72, taking both teams to 10-8 on the season.


Keep your eyes on Mickey McConnell. He's played well as of late, dishing out 26 assists in three of the last four Bundesliga games, and 20 in three of last four Basketball Champions League outings. He had 16 points and 7 assists in the loss to AS Monaco, and 24 points and 8 assists in a win over Giessen 46ers. Not a bad week at all for EWE Baskets Oldenburg's #1 distributor.


Mike Bramos' week: 10-of-14 from beyond the arc, 40 points in two games, and most importantly - two wins for Umana Reyer Venezia. With Gediminas Orelik down and out, seems like Bramos is ready to increase his role with the Italian champs and help them out in a crazy Play-Offs battle in Group C.


SIG Strasbourg are back on the right path, collecting five wins in a row in both Basketball Champions League and the French League. The scary part about it? Dee Bost - last week's MVP - says they are just starting to catch their rhythm...


Pinar Karsiyaka looked fragile midway through the Regular Season. But consecutive wins over Holon and Murcia showed all of their passion, with Jarrod Jones and D.J. Kennedy taking the top two spots among the scoring leader of the Basketball Champions League. KSK's one-two punch getting stronger for the knockout stage, couldn't have scripted it better!


Reading the plays is crucial late in the game, and medi Bayreuth have excelled in that department under Raoul Korner's guidance. Just look at the last win over Estudiantes - Nate Linhart saw help coming from one-pass-away, fed James Robinson for a big time triple. One possession later, nobody helped, so Linhart stepped back and stabbed the dagger. And the players got the good news over the weekend: They've learned that coach Korner will be in their corner at least until 2020!


Kendrick Kung Fu Kenny Ray, that's one way to celebrate your birthday! CEZ Nymburk's leading man is 24 since last week, and he's been on a tear recently, averaging 18.0 points per game while knocking down 54 percent of his shots from the field over the last five Basketball Champions League games. Deserves a "Happy Birthday" song next time you see him out there...


Stealing from the thieves must be the best feeling ever, huh, Heiko Schaffartzik? German point guard gave his compatriots a taste of their own medicine last week - Bonn are a Top 3 team in steals per game, but Heiko took the ball away from them 5 times! He also had 11 points and 7 assists for Nanterre 92, pulling a Kulig on Bonn.


"Pulling a Kulig" means playing great against a team from your own country. Damian Kulig had 22 points and 9 rebs against Rosa Radom, and Banvit's winning run got way more impressive over the weekend, following their 63-61 win over Fenerbahce in Turkey! That's 11 wins in a row now for Saso Filipovski's gang!


D.J. Strawberry's game has evolved since he joined Besiktas Sompo Japan, and his OT heroics against Aris proved just how comfortable he is with the ball in his hands. Strawberry has been the all-round point forward every team needs, with 12.8 PPG, 4.8 APG, 3.8 RPG, all done while shooting 47 percent from beyond the arc on more than five attempts per game! A win against Trabzonspor means Besiktas are just a win behind Fenerbahce at the top of the Turkish League.


MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg are 29-7 in all competitions this season. Want us to use an example of how good that record is? Okay. Not a problem: That's a winning percentage of .805. Golden State Warriors are currently sitting at .800, Houston Rockets are at .729, Boston Celtics at .700.
And yet, 29-7 is only good enough for third in the Bundesliga and second in Group B of the Basketball Champions League...


A point guard, a point guard, my kingdom for a point guard! Shortly after Iberostar Tenerife had signed Josh Akognon to replace the injured Nico Richotti, they suffered another blow. Akognon will be out for two months, defending champs must be feeling cursed by now with all the medical issues they've had over these two seasons... 


Just way too many weapons with this AS Monaco squad... Paul Lacombe is the latest hero - an offensive rebound, the go-ahead lay-up with 24 seconds on the game clock, plus a block at the buzzer to protect the 78-77 win over Levallois on Saturday. Monstars are 14-4 in France, 12-0 in the Basketball Champions League, clear favorites to go all the way in all competitions!

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