09 October, 2018
05 May, 2019
Long Read
to read

Power Rankings: Fab five for Bologna and Banvit; Jerusalem back to the top of the list

MIES (Switzerland) - Eleven gamedays are behind us in the Basketball Champions League, and you can find out how your favorite team is doing by clicking the Standings tab. However, it's not all about W's and L's, as we take you through the Power Rankings, with domestic championships also taken into consideration.


Opava get knocked down, but they get up again, you are never gonna keep 'em down...
(Opava are still a one-hit wonder, like Chumbawamba and their knockdown song Tubthumping. But they aren't doing all that much of getting up again, though... Season record: 12-21.)


I've been saying all season long that Petrol Olimpija are playing on an NBA kind of schedule, and one of their biggest talents agrees. You should give it a read. Season record: 15-29 - nobody has more defeats of these 32 teams...


Montakit Fuenlabrada are the only Basketball Champions League team that is yet to collect their 10th win of the season. That's all you need to know. Season record: 9-19.


Opposite end of the scale compared to Fuenlabrada, CEZ Nymburk have won the most games out of these 32 teams - 23 in 31 tries - but a 19-0 domestic record takes up most of the W's in that column. They lost the tiebreaker to Antwerp, meaning they cannot be fourth in the group anymore. Season record: 23-8.


Why does my heart...feel so bad? Why does my soul...feel so bad?
(New head coach is in town, Chris O'Shea starts his reign at the helm of Telekom Baskets Bonn. Best of luck to him! But a defeat to Fribourg hurts their chances of making the Play-Offs. Feels so bad... Season record: 13-16.)


Babacar Toure has officially overtaken Yaya Toure and Kolo Toure and is now the world's most lovable Toure. Fribourg Olympic's hero was our podcast guest last week, give it a listen right over here.  Season record: 19-1-11, they had a tie in the Qualifying Rounds.


How a season can change with a single injury - medi Bayreuth lost Hassan Martin to injury, and all of a sudden they are sliding on four straight defeats, the second worst slide of all these clubs, as only Opava lost five in a row. Season record: 14-1-14.


I picked MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg to make the Play-Offs. That's why the column was named Bold predictions. But if they don't do it, I'm changing it to bald predictions. Season record: 12-16.


The Polish champs Anwil are still in with a shot of making the Play-Offs, but they will probably need to go 3-0 over the last three weeks of the Regular Season. And they start that span with a trip to Spain, visiting UCAM Murcia, so it's as tough as it gets, since Murcia only lost once this season... Season record: 16-12.


JDA Dijon can actually be happy with how their last week went. Let's not talk about the results, but they made it to the Final Eight of the Leaders Cup in France, which is a big deal over there. And it should be, because it's fun. Season record: 13-15.


Dear Lietkabelis...where have you been all season long!? Struggling to float above .500 since the tip-off in September, and now you go and collect back-to-back wins over Bamberg and Rytas by 17 and 21 points, respectively!? WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN DRINKING!? Still not out of Play-Offs contention here, but need to climb to 7-7. Season record: 16-15.


SIG Strasbourg finally won a game, taking down JL Bourg, also making it to the Leaders Cup and Disneyland. That was much needed for their confidence ahead of a hectic schedule the rest of the way in the Basketball Champions League - they are away at Promitheas, at home against Bologna, away at Oostende, doesn't get any tougher than that in the battle for Play-Offs. Season record: 16-12, good that the five-game losing streak is over.


Le Mans were looking like a changed team with two wins in a row in the Basketball Champions League, but a defeat last week turned them back a bit. However, they still have to face both Nizhny and Anwil, plus Avellino, basically, it's all about them - win all, you're in the Play-Offs. And not sure you'd want to meet the French champs in the Round of 16, no matter how good you are. Season record: 13-15, but not going to Disneyland for the Leaders Cup. French League is crazy this season, I tell you. Crazy.


Ventspils are just another team with a chance of advancing from Group A, and their win over Le Mans last week keeps them alive. But it just feels like we've been here before, like they had a number of chances to be a .500 team here, and yet they are just a 4-7 team here. Season record: 21-8, that's a lot of wins.


Just read the Ventspils' second sentence and change it to a 5-6 team. Nizhny Novgorod's season record: 18-14.


Ugh... They seemed like a legit Final Four contender. And then they seemed like a team that cannot keep up with the rest of the loaded Group D. And then they started winning again. And it's the most Neptunas Klaipeda thing they could've done - they have been confusing me for years now. Congrats on that - Season record: 20-1-10. Are they really going to exit the competition before the Round of 16!? Really!?


PAOK are in trouble. Their defeat to the hands of Nanterre saw them forfeit the tiebreaker, so they are technically a game behind the French squad with three games to go. Luckily for them, their schedule looks a bit easier, with games against Opava and Fribourg, but hey, I bet Bonn also thought they had it "easier" when Fribourg were in Germany last week... Season record: 17-10.


Just when you thought that Besiktas Sompo Japan aren't as impressive as they were in the first two renditions of this competition, Dusko Ivanovic's boys go and score 58 points in the second half. Against Promitheas, one of the top teams of the league. Besiktas are back, people. And they will most likely have a low seed in the draw for the Round of 16, so good luck to all group winners and runners-up... Season record: 14-11.


Go back through basketball, and you will see that the team with the best defense wins. Actually, the original Vince Lombardi quote was about football, but you get the point - defense wins championships. Banvit's 106.3 offensive rating isn't all that good, but they allow 97.6 points per 100 possessions, the second toughest defense of the competition, behind Murcia. That's how they got to five straight wins in all competitions! The only reason why they aren't higher here is their 12th spot in the Turkish League... Season record: 12-13.


UNET Holon will keep their eyes on the rear view mirrors over the coming three weeks. The LA Lakers of Israel have been superb so far, but PAOK and Nanterre are firing on all cylinders, and both of those are just a game behind Holon in the Standings. PAOK also own the tiebreaker, so it could come down to last Gameday, when Nanterre have to travel to Holon and chase a 12-point deficit from game one. Season record: 20-9.


Should Promitheas Patras be worried about the resurgence of Besiktas and Oostende? Naaah, probably not. But SIG Strasbourg are also in the mix. And Promitheas have to face Strasbourg, Neptunas and Bologna. Should they be worried? Naaah...but still. Should they? At 7-4? A win ahead of SIG, BJK and Oostende? Season record: 17-10.


Watching Telenet Giants Antwerp's schedule, and The Specials' version of Toots and The Maytals classic Pressure Drop immediately comes to mind. Pressure is going to drop on Antwerp this week, they've got a game away at Bamberg, a win by 10 or more points could get them to third seed and potentially drop Bamberg all the way down to fourth. Huge test for the team with nobody older than 27. Season record: 20-10.


Watching Brose Bamberg's schedule, and The Specials' version of Toots and The Maytals classic Pressure Drop immediately comes to mind. Pressure is going to drop on Bamberg this week, they've got a game at home against Antwerp, a defeat by 10 or more points could get Antwerp to third seed and potentially drop them all the way down to fourth. Huge test for the team with a lot of guys older than 27. Season record: 20-9.


Filou Oostende are so hot right now. Diccon Lloyd-Smeath has a breakdown how they went on a five-game winning streak which got them into Play-Offs contention, and also - FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER - into the Top 10 of the Power Rankings! Season record: 19-9.


Take cover, Nanterre 92 are shooting! The top three-point shooting team of the Basketball Champions League has made 131 three-pointers so far, 12 more than anybody else, and they've done it with a 44.3 percentage. Also, their offensive rating sees them score a league-high 120.3 points per 100 possessions, getting them on a four-game winning run, putting them into the Leaders Cup in France and en route to a Play-Offs spot in here. Looking good, Green Lantern. Looking good. Season record: 19-11.


Sorry, Sidigas Avellino. I jinxed you last week by saying you are the hottest team in all of Europe, I'm to blame for your two straight defeats in the Basketball Champions League and Serie A. Sorry. Season record: 18-9, that's amazing when you consider all the turbulence they've been through.


First to ten wins! No, wait... UCAM Murcia are the first team to win ten games this season, climbing to an unreal record of 10-1 in Group A, so it's hard to figure out the fact that they are just 5-12 in the Spanish League. Especially when you see games like the one of last weekend, when they let a 22-point lead slip out of their hands away at Gran Canaria... Still the best defense among these 32. Season record: 16-14.


Call the fire department, because Segafredo Virtus Bologna are lighting everything up! Five straight wins, the best run - along with Banvit - and the best shooting percentage this season, hitting 49.2 percent of all their field goal attempts, tied with Tenerife in that segment. Series of wins finally got them moving upwards in the Serie A, they could win three trophies this season, I'm telling you... Season record: 18-9.


Iberostar Tenerife lost two games this season in the Basketball Champions League, by a combined three points. We are still talking about a team leading nearly all the advanced stats in the League, a team leading the shooting percentages, a team at 11-6 in the Spanish League. That's elite level. Despite their defeat to Venezia and a drop to fourth in the Power Rankings. Season record: 20-8.


You know that stats tell you everything but the most important things? All around the advanced stats, Umana Reyer Venezia aren't even close to the top, where the names of AEK, Hapoel, Tenerife, Bologna, Nanterre and Murcia are hanging out... And yet, they may be the best team of this bunch! Stats do lie, sometimes. Season record: 19-8.


The defending champs are back to business after the point guard switch, in which they got Jordan Theodore in Xavier Rathan-Mayes' spot. AEK got an important, statement, best-of-the-rest win over Peristeri over the weekend, starting another winning run, which now stands at three games. They already had had a 10-game winning streak this season, so you know they are good, right? Right. Season record: 20-7, joint-least defeats of these 32 teams.


Joining AEK as the only other team with only 7 defeats this season - it's Hapoel Bank Yahav Jerusalem! Plus, they've also had 22 victories to celebrate in a highly successful campaign so far, trailing only Nymburk in numbers of overall wins this season. Oh, yeah, AEK and Jerusalem are in the same group, one of them will be the number two seed in the Round of 16 draw... Be warned! Season record: 22-7.

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