08 October, 2019
04 October, 2020
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Basketball Champions League Power Rankings: Volume 11

MIES (Switzerland) - Basketball Champions League is back, which also means that our Power Rankings are here to stay, too. The format remains the same as last season, domestic results are taken into account, because you can't view this as an isolated competition, but as part of what a basketball team is going through all season long, in all competitions, all the time.


Grass is green, water is wet, VEF Riga haven't got two wins yet.


Can't win games of basketball when you're not playing defense at all. Polski Cukier Torun are officially eliminated from Play-Offs contention.


It's back to the drawing board for Telenet Giants Antwerp as they lost two big games after defeating AEK. A defeat to Rasta Vechta wasn't as tough as the one to arch rivals Filou Oostende domestically, leaving the champs all alone at the top and sending Antwerp one game behind.


SIG Strasbourg lost eight games in a row in all competitions. That's all. That's the description. 


Gaziantep enjoyed their All Star Break in Turkey after a win over VEF Riga...but the vacation is over now and Iberostar Tenerife are in Turkey this week, so it could be a rude awakening.


Good news for PAOK? They finally won a game in the Greek League, keeping them away from the bottom of the table at 5-11.
Bad news for PAOK? They lost another home game in the Basketball Champions League, falling to 4-7, missing a good opportunity to take the lead in the battle for 4th in Group D.


Four defeats in a row in all competitions for Neptunas Klaipeda, with only one of those being by single digits. Crazy thing is, they could still make the Play-Offs in a wild battle in Group D.


Speaking of Group D, yes, Happy Casa Brindisi are in there, too. Big time overtime win in Serie A should give them some confidence ahead of their huge duel with PAOK this week. In fact, Brindisi won back-to-back overtime games in the Italian League, so they are a team you should follow closely over the weekends.


Lietkabelis is just one of those teams. Every time you feel like they will fall apart, they start destroying opponents all over the continent...and as soon as you get your hopes up with them, they drop a game at home (to Oostende) and follow it up with a 12-point defeat to Juventus. No, not the one with Cristiano Ronaldo.


Okay, so Monaco did defeat EB Pau-Lacq-Orthez over the weekend, but it was their first loss in last five games. Two wins down to 4th placed Rasta Vechta, it seems that Pau's revival was a bit too late for them to reach the Play-Offs here.


Brilliant moment with Mornar Bar over the weekend! Coach Mihailo Pavicevic said that he had only one message for his players before the game against Cedevita Olimpija in the Adriatic League: "Veni vidi vici." And he knew they would go out and win a big one - which they did. But funny thing is that Uros Lukovic, the seven-footer comedian replied: "I googled what the hell that means for half an hour."
Mornar. Providing you with comedy for the week.


Remember that Falco Szombathely were on the brink of making it to the Top 10 for two straight weeks here!? Well, those times are long gone with back-to-back defeats, which sent them down to 5-6 ahead of one of the games of the week, against Besiktas in Hungary. Can't wait to see the sea of yellow in the stands again!


Three straight defeats, five defeats in last six games... Brose Bamberg are in a slump, and have a must win game against the lowly VEF Riga this week. Which should then set up a monster of a game against Peristeri, in a kind of a winner-takes-all* environment.
*Okay, maybe not all. But you know, like 4th position in the group with a game to go. That's Play-Offs right there.


T.J. Cline has been fun for UNET Holon this season, which is why he was a part of the Coast to Coast podcast. Take a listen.


Crazy, huh!? Besiktas Sompo Sigorta looked like they were falling apart, losing coach Dusko Ivanovic, Jordan Theodore and James McAdoo...and here we are, three games to go, BJK holding on to the 4th spot in Group D! Their game in Szombathely is a must-watch this week.


Instead of writing anything down, I'll just redirect you to the Anwil Wloclawek poster highlight.


I'm so happy I picked Teksut Bandirma's Sehmus Hazer as one of the favorites to win the Best Young Player award. Monster game in Athens to take down AEK, keep Bandirma's hopes of progressing alive. That's why he was featured over here.


Two straight defeats for Peristeri winmasters in the Basketball Champions League, with a tricky game against Mornar Bar coming up. And even trickier is their upcoming schedule, as AEK and Bamberg are set to visit Peristeri in the Greek League and the BCL, respectively. So, in theory, three straight home games. But potentially, a danger of losing all three of them and missing out on the Play-Offs...


Did we count in San Pablo Burgos as a lock for the Play-Offs too soon? They are one game ahead of Anwil and Bandirma in the hunt for the next round, but Burgos have to face AEK, Hapoel Jerusalem and Rasta Vechta until the end of the Regular Season. It doesn't get any tougher than that, one win could and should be enough to see them through, two could get them home-court advantage for the Round of 16.


You should really check out what Trevis Simpson did to Bamberg over the weekend. Rasta Vechta looking good in the Play-Offs battle both in the Bundesliga and the Basketball Champions League.


Dario Gjergja for Coach of the Year? Three straight wins put Filou Oostende in a situation where they can book Play-Offs ticket as soon as this week! But keep in mind that we are talking about the unluckiest of all BCL teams, they were on the brink of Play-Offs basically every single season, and somehow failed to reach them in the dying seconds of the Regular Season. But if Gjergja does it now, with these youngsters on boards...man, he's going to be in the Coach of the Year talks for sure.


Nizhny Novgorod had only a single win over their last six games in the VTB League, the Russian Cup and the Basketball Champions League...but they timed that one to perfection, because now they clinch Play-Offs berth with just one win over the remaining three BCL games.


Promised to make Telekom Baskets Bonn a Top 10 team if and when they start winning in Bundesliga. They are not out of the gutter yet, down at 3-12, but it must feel good to connect a pair of wins in the BBL and BCL over the last week. Win in Klaipeda would send Bonn through to the next round.


The Howard Sant-Roos departure effect: AEK lost two straight games in the Basketball Champions League, both by 12, allowing Bandirma to put up 96 points in Athens, which was unthinkable earlier in the season. Win over San Pablo Burgos would certainly send AEK back on the right track, knowing how tough it is to pull something off over there, in front of the colorful Burgos fans...


BAXI Manresa should get some kind of a medal of honor for their 7-men game against Turk Telekom last week...but unfortunately for them, that's the only thing they could get, as the unforgiving Turks handed Manresa their 4th defeat of the campaign. A win over Holon would be celebrated in both Spain and Italy, because it would send Manresa and Sassari through to the elimination phase.


Casademont Zaragoza are one win behind Real Madrid and Barcelona in the chase for the top of the Spanish League. Do you need me to add anything else here?


Want to know more about Turk Telekom and what makes them a Final Four threat? Here. Thank me later.


Is Dyshawn Pierre back to being the favorite to win the MVP of the Season award? Because pulling down 19 rebounds in a Basketball Champions League game, that says a lot. And as if that wasn't enough, Pierre followed it up with a 29-point, 13-rebound domination against Pesaro in the Italian League. No wonder Dinamo Sassari won 11 of their last 12 games...


STATEMENT WIN! ERA Nymburk took down Iberostar Tenerife away from home to tie them for the best record in the BCL, at 9-2!!! So how come they aren't any higher than 4th here? Well, thing is, these top three teams ahead of them, they are even scarier than Nymburk's season record of 31-2 in all competitions.


JDA Dijon are on a nine-game winning streak...and they are up against Zaragoza this week, which could be the exclamation mark of a ten game winning streak, right? Right! Crazy part about the streak is that Dijon have done it in various ways - blowing you out, winning in the clutch, holding you to below 65 points and torching you with 90+ points. The way they are playing lately, it would take a miracle to keep them out of the Quarter-Finals... or even the Final Four.


Iberostar Tenerife's defeat to Nymburk was enough to push them back one step over here...but with the way Aaron White needed just one single game to fit right into that Txus Vidorreta system, they'll be back at the top as soon as the top team takes a step in the wrong direction.
(No. Really. Aaron White and Tenerife. Good luck trying to stop them now...)


Hapoel Bank Yahav Jerusalem are still the best offense of the league, by some distance, averaging 120.7 points per 100 possessions. And now, that league leading offense just got additional help with the signing of Shelvin Mack! That one is sending the message to all of their opponents. Jerusalem are not here to play, they want all of the trophies this season. It doesn't seem so impossible with the way they are playing at the moment.

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

Igor Curkovic

Igor Curkovic

Igor Curkovic is Basketball Champions League's writer and editor since day one of the competition, specializing in Live Blog coverage of the games and sorting out the teams on Mondays, in the Power Rankings. When he's not watching basketball, he's commentating Croatian Second Division soccer games for TV.