09 October, 2018
05 May, 2019
Long Read
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Power Rankings: AEK looking unstoppable, big names out of Top 10

MIES (Switzerland) - Play-Offs are here! Time to find the hottest team of the 16 with our Power Rankings -  domestic championships are also taken into consideration.


Team: Umana Reyer Venezia
Season record: 25-12
Current form: Won 2 of last 3
Last Power Ranking: 7
Umana Reyer Venezia picked the worst possible timing for their second worst performance ever in the Basketball Champions League, second only to their 40-point defeat to Pinar Karsiyaka. Venezia need a 24-point win to advance to the Quarter-Finals for the second time in three seasons. A 24-point win. It's hard to even write it out, let alone try and get it...


Team: Neptunas Klaipeda
Season record: 28-1-14
Current form: Won 2 of last 3
Last Power Ranking: 6
Neptunas Klaipeda are the only team to lose the first leg of the Round of 16 at home by 10+ points. It will be mission impossible for them to get back on level terms against a powerful team like Hapoel Bank Yahav Jerusalem.


Team: PAOK
Season record: 23-14
Current form: Won 2 of last 3
Last Power Ranking: 13
There will a trip down memory lane in Thessaloniki, and people will be talking about the game of April of 2010. That was the only time over the last 10 years, that they had defeated AEK by 10+ points in Athens, 90-73 to keep their hosts far away from making the Play-Offs in Greece. Similar kind of mission that Neptunas have...


Team: Iberostar Tenerife
Season record: 25-14
Current form: Lost 4 straight
Last Power Ranking: 5
Iberostar Tenerife lost four straight for the first time since October and November of 2015 - that's how unusual this slump is for the 2017 Champs. I really have nothing to add to that fact. I actually felt a sting in my heart while searching for that data...


Team: UCAM Murcia
Season record: 20-19
Current form: Lost 3 of last 4
Last Power Ranking: 8
That 13-1 Regular Season seems like a distant memory for UCAM Murcia. They are in an 8-point deep hole in their tie against Antwerp, but more concerning is their domestic record, as they are still unable to escape relegation zone in Spain. Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde kind of season...


Team: Besiktas Sompo Japan
Season record: 21-15
Current form: Won 2 of last 3
Last Power Ranking: 4
Besiktas Sompo Japan will be without Jason Rich for a long time, after the shooting guard suffered a broken arm. And without Rich, Besiktas' offense became poor, scoring less than 60 against Nanterre in France.


Team: Banvit
Season record: 16-17
Current form: Lost 4 of last 5
Last Power Ranking: 14
Banvit really shouldn't have the green arrow next to their name, given that they lost four of last five. But a two-point defeat to Bamberg keeps them alive, they will have a packed arena behind them this week, so it will feel like a winner-takes-it-all kind of a game. Having a proven winner like Gary Neal on board helps in such situations.


Team: Segafredo Virtus Bologna
Season record: 21-1-16
Current form: Lost 3 of last 4
Last Power Ranking: 10
There was some much-needed good news for the Black V in their 96-94 defeat to the hands of Cantu. Kevin Punter finally found his stroke, putting up 36 points in 25 minutes of work, shooting 11-of-16 from the field and 10-of-11 from the charity stripe before fouling out. That's why they are one place up on their last week's ranking, any win over Le Mans would see them through to the Elite Eight phase.


Team: Le Mans
Season record: 20-1-17
Current form: Won 1 of last 3
Last Power Ranking: 16
Yes. Le Mans won only one of their last three. BUT - and I don't mean but as goal in French - they defeated Lyon-Villeurbanne, getting back to Play-Offs positions in France, keeping their title defense alive. Kendrick Kung Fu Kenny Ray had a game-high 18 points, so we should be in for a treat when Le Mans v Bologna reaches K-point in Punter v Ray.


Team: Promitheas Patras
Season record: 22-13
Current form: Won 2 straight
Last Power Ranking: 15
Upset of the week? Promitheas blowing out Tenerife last week? The Greeks are ready for their Game of the Season in San Cristobal de La Laguna, and they are saying that Rion Brown and Langston Hall WILL be available for the game. Add the whole Tenerife part to this equation and it seems that Promitheas could be the other Greek team in the Quarter-Finals. (We will have one for sure, with AEK facing PAOK.)


Team: Nanterre 92
Season record: 26-15
Current form: Won 3 straight
Last Power Ranking: 11
I still can't get over the way they pronounce "92" in French, but if Nanterre 92 keep on playing the way they do, they should consider changing the name to Nanterre 100. Because they are 100 percent successful in their last three outings, including the sweep over arch-rivals Levallois in French League. Good time to be green in Paris. Good times ahead, too.


Team: Nizhny Novgorod
Season record: 27-17
Current form: Won 3 straight
Last Power Ranking: 12
I love coach Zoran Lukic. I just love the way he carries himself, the way he loses his mind when something bad happens only to put it all back together seconds later, coming up with a winning plan. And, the white shoes. Gotta love a man in white shoes! Sretno u Veneciji, treneru!


Team: Telenet Giants Antwerp
Season record: 30-12
Current form: Won 6 straight
Last Power Ranking: 9
Get this, this Group C team is among the hottest in all of Europe, winning six straight games in all competitions, including the Final of the Belgian Cup over Filou Oostende! That one ended Oostende's six-year long domination in the competition, and also sent the message to the rest of Europe - these kids are for real.


Team: Brose Bamberg
Season record: 30-10
Current form: Won 8 straight
Last Power Ranking: 3
Get this, this Group C team is among the hottest in all of Europe, winning eight straight in all competitions, including seven games by single digits, proving once again that they've got (R)ice in their veins when it matters most. And owning a two-point lead against Banvit, they will need to perform in the clutch once again, for sure!


Team: Hapoel Bank Yahav Jerusalem
Season record: 32-9
Current form: Won 9 of last 10
Last Power Ranking: 2
Get this, this Group C team is among the hottest in all of Europe, winning nine of their last ten games in all competitions, including the first leg in Klaipeda, handing Neptunas a 12-point defeat. Meaning, they will have the time and confidence to destroy more rims in the return fixture, too.


Team: AEK
Season record: 29-8
Current form: Won 8 straight
Last Power Ranking: 1
Get this, this Group C team is among the hottest in all of Europe, winning eight straight in all competitions - for the second time this season! They won a season-high ten straight in November and December, and they could advance to the Quarter-Finals even if their streak ends on Wednesday. A +9 advantage is a huge one against PAOK, the defending champs seem to be growing as the season progresses. Again!

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