19 September, 2017
06 May, 2018
Power Rankings: Could PAOK and Zielona Gora squeeze into the Play-Offs?
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Power Rankings: Could PAOK and Zielona Gora squeeze into the Play-Offs?

MIES (Basketball Champions League) - Just one more Gameday left in the Regular Season! Counting down the latest Power Rankings, from #32 to #1.





Rosa Radom were out of the Play-Offs hunt for a while now. But their six-game losing skid has put their domestic campaign in danger, too - at 10-10 they are two wins behind the 8th-placed PGE Turow Zgorzelec.


Back when SikeliArchivi Capo d'Orlando won their last game, you were planing your New Year's Eve party. Since December 16, Sicilians have lost 12 straight games...


Considering the fact that Juventus Utena had started their Basketball Champions League and Lithuanian championship campaigns with 10 straight losses, they've done amazingly well to crawl back into Play-Offs contention domestically and get a shot of reaching FIBA Europe Cup. Shame we won't see LaRon Dendy and Anthony Ireland going mad all over the court anymore in our Play-Offs...


January was Enisey Krasnoyarsk's second best month of the season, at 2-6. Their only better output was in October, when they had started the season at 3-4...and went on to win just a single game over the next two months. Not a season to remember in Krasnoyarsk, not at all...


UNET Holon are on a quest of finishing ahead of Enisey and Juventus. In order to unlock that achievement, they have to defeat Oldenburg, or hope that all three clubs lose their respective games. Then we could see the Israeli club joining the fun in FIBA Europe Cup.


Bad news for Petrol Olimpija? Slovenian champs were in a mess of a group, even with wins away at Estudiantes and Bayreuth, and at home against Strasbourg, they cannot go through. Or even finish among the top six of their group!
Good news for Petrol Olimpija? Slovenian champs will not have any more of those exhausting four-game weeks...


Telekom Baskets Bonn cannot finish higher than 7th in Group D. Which is a shame, honestly. They are not advancing - we don't get to use Mayo and Gamble puns anymore...


Aris are on an eight-game losing streak in Greek League and the Basketball Champions League. Not much to add here.


Gaziantep lost the Basketball Champions League derby in the Turkish League, surrendering to the hands of Pinar Karsiyaka. They are stuck at the bottom of the standings in Turkey, but could still advance to the FIBA Europe Cup closing stages with a win away at Chalon this week.


The title holders are out of the red! Elan Chalon's 30-point win over Nanterre saw them escape the relegation zone in French League. Is that something that the champs should be happy about? You be the judge... They will not advance to the Play-Offs in the Basketball Champions League, maybe they get there domestically once they switch their focus to just a single competition.


Oostende are 17-0 in the Belgian League, and they get to move one spot up because they took their title defense to a whole new level domestically. Champs held third-placed Okapi Aalstar to - get this - 38 points!! However, they will stay in sixth spot in Group D, without a chance to prove their worth in the Play-Offs.


Imagine that, after 14 weeks of basketball, Dinamo Sassari could be out because of a single point. If they finish tied at 7-7 with UCAM Murcia, the Spaniards will advance thanks to their +6 win over Sassari, after they had lost the first game by - five points...


Do or die!! Ventspils have it all in their hands, a home game that could take them through to the Round of 16. But they haven't looked their best lately, whilst PAOK are flying in with a lot of confidence after winning four of last five. Keep in mind that PAOK won by 30 (54-84) last time they met in Ventspils, back in January 2017, and are 3-0 against the Latvian squad.


Sidigas Avellino will never give up. They got back to the top of the Italian League with a 77-59 triumph in Turin, in a game that saw them shooting 13-of-29 from beyond the arc and holding their hosts to 22-of-68 from the field. Unfortunately for them, those kind of numbers will not be enough on Wednesday - unless CEZ Nymburk help them out with a win over Zielona Gora.


It would be heartbreaking to see Umana Reyer Venezia go out so early after everything they've done over these two Basketball Champions League seasons. Italian champs have warmed up nicely for their final Group C game, with a 76-71 win over Brindisi, led by Hrvoje Peric and his 21 points, 8 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, 2 blocks. One more game like that by the man from Dubrovnik, and Venice might see Play-Offs again.


Neptunas Klaipeda were a bit lucky that Tenerife delivered the final blow to Chalon, otherwise the Lithuanians would've had a nerve-wracking final Gameday, in danger of missing out on Play-Offs. They host Tenerife on Tuesday on the back end of a defeat to Pieno Zvaigzdes in Lithuania. Not a team in the best shape at the moment, PAOK also exposed a lot of Neptunas' weaknesses last week...


What's the secret to PAOK's recent success? They've won four of their last five games in the Basketball Champions League, and seems that their bench is lifting them all the way up to the Round of 16. They've averaged 42.5 bench points per game in those four wins, way above Zielona Gora's league leading 38 PPG. A win away at Ventspils would take them to Play-Offs.


No shame in losing to AS Monaco. And UCAM Murcia can always say that they've had the biggest lead (+6) against the French side in Group A... But consecutive defeats have made them almost certainly a lock for 4th seed in Group A. Which then means they'd have to face Besiktas or Banvit or Tenerife (as it stands) in the Round of 16. CAN'T WAIT!!


You should really read Diccon Lloyd-Smeath's piece about Stelmet Enea Zielona Gora!! Old School seems to be the way in Poland, Polish champs are 10-1 since Andrej Urlep took over - just one more win needed, away at CEZ Nymburk, to see them through to the Round of 16.


Three wins in a row come at a perfect time. And AEK will be playing that good ol' With A Little Help From My Friends song. They need to defeat Bayreuth, and hope that Strasbourg and Venezia also end the last day victorious. If Strasbourg and Estudiantes win their games, then AEK need to take down Bayreuth by 7 or more. So simple.


EWE Baskets Oldenburg are still very much hoping for that second spot in Group A. A win over Holon, plus a defeat by Pinar Karsiyaka, and Oldenburg will be seeded in the Round of 16 draw on February 14. They have lost the Basketball Champions League derby in the Bundesliga over the weekend, Bonn made their life just a bit more difficult. Both are still in Play-Offs positions in Germany.


Let me give you some French League results:
AS Monaco def. Elan Chalon 87-57
Nanterre 92 def. AS Monaco 99-69
Elan Chalon def. Nanterre 92 85-55 (!?)
Good luck trying to put some logic behind those scores...
Nanterre have lost three in a row (BCL and LNB) for the first time since January 2017, which is why they are out of the Top 10 in our Power Rankings. Get back in there!


Crazy to think that Goran Suton never played for Croatia. Especially after his MVP-winning output of 25 points, 12 rebounds, 3 assists against the hottest team around, Group C leaders Banvit. Movistar Estudiantes love having him around, he could be the man that sends them to Play-Offs.


Winners of seven straight in all competitions, SIG Strasbourg blew away Le Portel 85-62 in LNB Pro A over the weekend. There was some Louis Labeyrie drama, he will be out 4-6 weeks, which might work out perfectly for SIG - they could get him back healthy just in time for the Play-Offs. David Logan knocked down 10 triples in 17 tries over the last two games. Watch out!


Oh, man. That medi Bayreuth v Umana Reyer Venezia game was one of the best we've seen over these two seasons of the Basketball Champions League!! And you know Bayreuth aren't the kind of team that will go to Athens protecting a 7-point lead - in fact, they are 4-2 away from home in that crazy Group C, you can expect them to chase win #5 against AEK on Tuesday.


Pinar Karsiyaka's triple-trouble team is a double-double just waiting to happen. D.J. Kennedy had 5 of them in the Regular Season, two more than anybody else in the league. In fact, the closest one to him is Dominic Waters, his very own teammate, author of 3 double-doubles this season, and don't forget about Jarrod Jones, guy averaging 18.3 points on 53.7 percent shooting. Triple-trouble. Double-double. Not going to wobble.


Tolga Gecim's last second block saved Banvit from a two-game losing streak. Estu ended their run in the Basketball Champions League, but their 81-80 triumph away at Eskisehir keeps the seven-game winning run alive in the Turkish League - Banvit are the only unbeaten team in Turkey since December 11. And Tolga is drawing some well-deserved attention. At 6'9'' (2,09m) he's probably the tallest point guard out there. Point Forward. Or better yet - Power Guard!


Czech champs CEZ Nymburk checked in at 20-0 at the 20-game checkpoint of the Czech League, charging towards the checkered flag. Czech Cup is also cheering them up, they are just about to clinch their spot among the last čtyři* after a 21-point win in čtvrtfinále's** first leg.
Good look trying to read that out loud.


Thomas Walkup has proved he is a standup guy - shot 12-of-16 from the field on his way to a 27-point, 8-rebound, 3-assist, 3-steal stat-line. His performance inspired a 25-9 last quarter as MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg took down Fraport Skyliners 88-81 in the Bundesliga, but MHP are in trouble. Johannes Thiemann, their starting center, has suffered a season-ending injury. Are they still a contender without their German national team member?
(That's a rhyme right there.)


Besiktas Sompo Japan are 7-1 in 2018 - another testament to Zielona Gora's strength - and are on a 6-game win-streak at home in the Basketball Champions League. Which is perfect, with elimination games just around the corner. They have averaged 82 PPG at home this season, whilst going over the 80-point mark just once away from home. Yep, that's the game they lost to ZG. Stick to low-scoring affairs on travels then, I guess...


Iberostar Tenerife have signed Tobias Borg to help them out in backcourt. Now everybody will be assimilated.
(If he's anything like his Star Trek namesake, he won't have any trouble adapting to the collective basketball mind of Tenerife, and their sharing-is-caring, 21.2-assists-per-game style of play.)


Running out of things to say about the Monstars... Even if they dropped a game in the French League over the weekend. AS Monaco are just 40 minutes away from completing a perfect Regular Season, in which they've never trailed by more than 6 points!! How crazy is that!?

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