19 September, 2017
06 May, 2018
6 Michail Bramos (ITA)
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Regular Season overview: a closer look at the directly qualified teams (4/4)

MIES, Switzerland (Basketball Champions League) - Numerous current national champions are among the 24 teams that have directly qualified for the 2017-18 Basketball Champions League Regular Season which gets under way next week.

The 24 teams have just been been joined by eight qualifiers to make up a 32-team playing field. They will play in four groups of 8 teams each with the top four in each group going through to a home and away Round of 16 ahead of the Quarter-Finals which will determine the Final Four. The action will tip off on 10 October and conclude with the Final Four on 4-6 May 2018.

Find out what has happened in the off-season, as we take a look at our 24 direct-to-the Regular Season qualifiers. Teams are still finalizing their rosters, but let's assess the current situation. After a rundown of the first eighteen teams (alphabetically), let's now have a look at the last six: Sidigas Avellino, SIG Strasbourg, Stelmet Zielona Gora, UCAM Murcia, Umana Reyer Venezia and Ventspils.


Avellino are returning very few players for the coming year, with the sole Zerini, Fesenko and Parlato. With an average age of 29 years old, they have however set up a solid and experienced team for their second season in the Basketball Champions League.

Shane Lawal is a marquee signing from Barcelona, but having undergone surgery on his left knee, it remains to be seen whether he will back to full strength. Jason Rich will look to pick up the scoring slack, having averaged almost 18 a game last season in Pro-A. Uruguyan Bruno Fitipaldo returns to Italy after his time in Turkey with Galatasaray, and Italian national team point guard Ariel Filloy joins Avellino after his campaign with fourth place finishers Venezia last season.

Senegalese defensive stalwart Hamady N'Diaye will protect the rim, Dezmine Wells joins after splitting time between Greece and the NBA G-League for Oklahoma City Blue last season, with Canadian Thomas Scrubb adding some versatility to the team.

Last Season BCL Record: 10-6, Round of 16

Key Additions: Shane Lawal (Barcelona, ESP), Dezmine Wells (Oklahoma City Blue, USA), Thomas Scrubb (Gießen 46ers, GER), Jason Rich (Paris-Levallois, FRA), Ariel Filloy (Venezia, ITA), Bruno Fitipaldo (Galatasaray, TUR), Hamady N'Diaye (Bnei Herzliya, ISR), Shawn Jones (Sassari, ITA)

Key Departures: Joe Ragland (Lokomotiv Kuban, RUS), Adonis Thomas (Banvit, TUR), Levi Randolph (Sassari, ITA), Retin Obasohan (Oettinger, GER), Marco Cusin (Milano, ITA), David Logan (Strasbourg, FRA)



Strasbourg will hope to improve upon their debut season in the Basketball Champions League, where they were eliminated in the Play-Off Qualifiers.

The 2016-17 French Pro-A runners up will have a chip on their shoulder after the domestic campaign, but have almost entirely cleared house, with the departure of most of last year’s core, with the exception of Leloup, Sy and Cortale.

With new additions including two Basketball Champions League stars from last year; AS Monaco’s Zack Wright, and AEK’s Mike Dixon, along with whimsical New York Knicks draft pick Louis Labeyrie and experienced European veteran David Logan, Strasbourg will be hoping they can more than make up for the departures. The Alsatian team had also signed former Phoenix Suns, Aris and Bamberg guard Jerel McNeal but he recently parted ways and signed with Hapoel Tel Aviv.

Last Season Overall Record: 10-6, Play-Off Qualifiers

Key Additions: Louis Labeyrie (Paris-Levallois, FRA), Chris Otule (Antibes, FRA), Zack Wright (AS Monaco, FRA), Mike Dixon (AEK, GRE), David Logan (Avellino, ITA), Darion Atkins (Hapoel Holon, ISR), 

Key Departures: Erving Walker (Buyukcekmece, TUR), Mam Jaiteh (Limoges, FRA), Romeo Travis (Le Mans, FRA), A.J. Slaughter (ASVEL, FRA), Paul Lacombe (AS Monaco, FRA), Frank Ntilikina (Knicks, NBA), Matt Howard (Hapoel Tel-Aviv, ISR), Erik Murphy (Nanterre, FRA)


Polish play-off champions Stelmet Zielona will be hoping for a better second season in the Basketball Champions League after going 4-10 in 2016-17.

The team has had a very stable summer with the leading scorer Vladimir Dragicevic return, together with seven players who suited up last year that are confirmed back, including James Florence, Thomas Kelati, Przemyslaw Zamojski and Lukasz Koszarek.

Zielona currently only have one newcomer, Boris Savovic, former player of Bayern Munich and Venezia, who averaged double digits in Montengro with Buducnost last season.

Last Season BCL Record: 4-10

Key Additions: Boris Savovic (Buducnost, MNE)

Key Departures: Nemanja Djurisic (Bonn, GER), Karol Gruszecki (Torun, POL)



UCAM Murcia are a new entrant from Spain for 2017-18, making the switch from the EuroCup (where they made the Top 16) to the Basketball Champions League for their cross-continental competition.

Key player Vitor Faverani returns, along with team captain Spaniard Jose Angel Antelo, 6’11” Argentinian National Team big man Marcos Delia, 6’4” wing Sadiel Rojas, and explosive Brit Ovie Soko.

Amongst the new signings are big man Marko Lukovic, who joins with nice scoring and rebounding numbers from Slovenia, veteran Brad Oleson brings experience from Barcelona, and Spaniard Alex Urtasun averaged over 10 points per outing for Nancy in France’s Pro-A last season.

Last Season BCL Record: N/A

Key Additions: Marko Lukovic (Krka, SLO), Charlon Kloof (MZT Skopje, MKD), Alex Urtasun (Nancy, FRA), Brad Oleson (Barcelona, ESP)

Key Departures: Facundo Campazzo (Real Madrid, ESP), Billy Baron (Eskisehir, TUR), Nemanja Radovic (Obradoiro, ESP)

(credit UCAM Murcia)


Another Basketball Champions League Final Four team that returns for a second year, Umana Reyer Venezia will hope to do better than their fourth place finish last season.

The 2016-17 Italian national champions have tried to get some stability, returning three key players in top two leading scorers Hrovje Peric and Marquez Haynes along with Michael Bramos.

To replace Melvin Ejim inside and Tyrus McGee on the perimeter will be no small task, but new signings include big man Mitchell Watt, who almost averaged a double-double in Italy last season, guard Dominique Johnson, who split time between Italy and Germany last season, and wing Gediminas Orelik who starred in the Basketball Champions League Final Four with Banvit last season.

Addtionally, their latest major signing is Michael Jenkins, who returns to Italy from Basketball Champions League side Aris where he was a major contributor last season.

Last Season BCL Record: 13-9, Fourth

Key Additions: Mitchell Watt (Juvecaserta, ITA), Dominique Johnson (Varese, ITA), Gediminas Orelik (Banvit, TUR), Michael Jenkins (Aris, GRE), Tomas Kyzlink (JL Bourg, FRA), Paul Biligha (Cremona, ITA)

Key Departures: Melvin Ejim (Unics Kazan, RUS), Tyrus McGee (Pistoia, ITA), Jamelle Hagins (Afyon, TUR2), Ariel Filloy (Avellino, ITA), Esteban Batista (Welcome, URU), Julyan Stone (Hornets, NBA)


Having come up short of the post-season after losing to Venezia in the Play-Off Qualifiers last season, the second place finishers in the Latvian league are back hoping to go at least a step further this season in the Basketball Champions League.

Though they have lost a number of key players, they've retained the services of one of their top performers in Marius Gulbis.

Manny Ubilla was dominant in Hungary last season, averaging almost 18 points, 5 rebounds and 8 assists per game last season, and will bolster Ventspils' offensive output as a new signing.

Rookie Blake Hamilton also joins the team, graduating from Buffalo college where he averaged 17.4ppg, 6.1rpg and 4.4apg in his Senior year.

6’6” forward Mike Bruesewitz is another welcome addition, having averaged 17.1 points, over 8 rebounds and just shy of 3 assists last year with Jamtland in Sweden, along with Arturs Berzins (if declared fit to play) as the 6’9” big man had solid numbers in the Latvian league last year.

Last Season BCL Record: 8-8, Play-Off Qualfiiers

Key Additions: Emanuel Ubilla (ZTE KK, HUN), Mike Bruesewitz (Jamtland, SWE), Arturs Berzins (Valmiera, LAT), Blake Hamilton (Buffalo, NCAA), Julius Jucikas (Lietuvos Rytas, LTU)

Key Departures: Willie Deane (Chalons-Reims, FRA), Edgaras Zelionis (Neptunas, LTU), Andrejs Grazulis (Parma, RUS)