08 October, 2019
04 October, 2020
Long Read
to read

Basketball Champions League Power Rankings: Volume 13

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.


Thank you, VEF Riga, for everything you did this season, including showing the world who Arturs Kurucs was. Best of luck through the rest of your domestic campaign!


Thank you, Polski Cukier Torun, for your fun run-and-gun style that had us scrolling through record books every single week. Nice of you to show us what kind of a sharp shooter Keith Hornsby is, what kind of a point god Chris Wright is, and for everything else that went on 100 mph every week. Best of luck in Poland, especially against your neighbors!


Thank you, Gaziantep, for giving us one of the most memorable shots of the season, when Jamarr Sanders beat the buzzer to win the game against Nizhny Novgorod. Best of luck in Turkey, hope you make the Play-Offs so we can see each other next season, too!


Thank you, SIG Strasbourg, for getting Gabe York back to the Basketball Champions League. He's been in double digits in all of his games so far, no surprise to see him in the Top 10 in scoring. Best of luck in France, hope the coaching change wakes you up and brings you back to the top!


Thank you, PAOK, for your three-game winning streak early on, which complicated the looks of Group D completely. Also, that Shannon Shorter block plus Bobby Brown dagger three sequence in Klaipeda was an electric one, right up there for plays of the season. Best of luck in Greece, make sure you stay in front of your arch rivals from across the town!


Thank you, Mornar Bar, for knocking down all those three-pointers, all season long. It's a good thing to be in the Top 5 of three-pointers made, and it's not a surprise to see you up there, with Derek Needham and Jacob Pullen pulling the strings. Best of luck to you in the Adriatic League, that Top 4 finish is just around the corner, right? Right.


Thank you, Telenet Giants Antwerp, for bouncing back after losing most of your core from last season. And for allowing us to enjoy all the crossovers, assists and deep threes from Basketball Champions League's version of a Slovenian guy named Luka. Best of luck in Belgium, the fact that Oostende is through may be an advantage for you guys, to take the throne domestically.


Thank you, Neptunas Klaipeda, for being yourselves. Lithuanian firepower, guys like Deividas Gailius jumping out and flirting with triple-doubles, crazy atmosphere in your home games, and a beautiful jersey, too. It's been fun. We'll miss you in the Play-Offs, though... Best of luck in Lithuania, maybe you can sneak into the Finals this time around.


Thank you, Happy Casa Brindisi, for getting us on the bring of heart attacks here and there. It's easy to see why your crowd loves you. Game-winners at the buzzer, game-winners with a second left, highlight plays from Ty Stone, Adrian Banks, Kelvin Martin and all the others... Don't tell anyone, but I'm kinda sad to see you stuck in the group stage. Best of luck in Italy, keep doing what you are doing.


Thank you, Anwil Wloclawek, for having one of the loudest home crowds we've ever seen in this League. All the poster dunks were also cool, but the energy that you have over there prompted one of our writers to ask: "Can we give them a wild card for the Play-Offs, just because of the fans?" I'm not going to say which writer it was. Anyway. Best of luck in Poland, especially against your neighbors!


Thank you, EB Pau-Lacq-Orthez, for allowing Justin Dentmon to go crazy and set a new record for points per game in a season. He sits at 21.8 now, Kevin Punter had 21.1 in 14 games with Rosa Radom two seasons ago. Best of luck in France, that one-point win over Strasbourg must have felt real good, huh?


Thank you, Brose Bamberg, for bringing back Freak City. It wasn't the easiest of all seasons you ever had, but you never gave up and that has to be appreciated. Keep doing Bamberg things, and we'll see you at the Final Four in 2021, okay? Okay. Best of luck in Germany, you're just one win away from home court advantage in the Play-Offs there, so stay positive.


Thank you, Falco Szombathely, for one of the most impressive maiden campaigns in the Basketball Champions League. You stayed with it, keep developing that pearl of yours named Perl. Best of luck in Hungary, let's set up a date at the start of the Regular Season in 2020-21, okay? See you then, champs.


Thank you, UNET Holon, for setting up a dramatic finish to the Regular Season in Group A. You take down Lietkabelis, hope for a Manresa defeat against Sassari, and you are in! That's why I'll skip the "Best of luck" part of this box.


Thank you, Lietkabelis, for setting up a dramatic finish to the Regular Season in Group A. You take down Holon, hope for a Manresa defeat against Sassari and for an Oostende win over Torun, and you are in! That's why I'll skip the "Best of luck" part of this box.


Thank you, Rasta Vechta, for setting up a dramatic finish to the Regular Season in Group B. Now, it could get tricky, you need a win by 7 over San Pablo Burgos, and you still need to avoid a triangle with Bandirma... But it could happen. Let's save the "Best of luck" part for some other time, you could still be in Top 16.


Thank you, BAXI Manresa, for setting up  a dramatic finish...but, you know, you could still make it non-dramatic at all with a win over Sassari. That could send you to the next round no matter what happens in other games, because nobody below #4 can get to 8 wins. Just out of precaution, let's not say "Best of luck in the Play-Offs" just yet, okay? Okay.


Thank you, San Pablo Burgos, for introducing us to that fiery Spanish atmosphere of yours. And we're really excited to see what kind of madness you'll put up on Wednesday in your do-or-die game. Win or go home, that's the plan. So win, and plan your trip to the Round of 16 draw. Easy as 1, 2, 3. Same kind of precaution goes as with Manresa just above you.


Thank you, Telekom Baskets Bonn, for bringing your A-game to European stage this time around. It usually was the other way around, with good domestic campaigns and not-so-good BCL seasons, but this time it's the complete opposite. Which is why you had to say goodbye to coach Thomas Pach. But hey, you're still in the top 16 here. Best of luck in the Play-Offs, a win this week could give you home court advantage.


Thank you, Nizhny Novgorod, for finally snapping out of that bad run you had, with one win in eight games to end 2019 and start 2020. That one is all over now, thanks to your triumphs against Gaziantep and Zielona Gora last week, so maybe you get to your best basketball now? Best of luck in the Play-Offs, you'll need it since you won't have home court advantage no matter what happens on Gameday 14.


Thank you, Filou Oostende, for ending what was the unluckiest run in the history of the Basketball Champions League, as you guys were always the first ones below the line in the previous three seasons of the League. That one is over. Thank you, also, for the inspiring comeback from -18 to +13 last week. That one was crazy. Best of luck in the Play-Offs, feels good to say that, doesn't it?


Thank you, Peristeri winmasters, for that 6-0 run in the last minute of the game against Bamberg last week. Such a huge game. To bounce back to win it, that says a lot about your team, and we're here to warn everybody that reading that "Peristeri winmasters" sign on a piece of paper in the draw will not mean you are safely through. Not at all. Best of luck in the Play-Offs, doves. 


Thank you, Teksut Bandirma, for proving that you can win games while giving extended minutes to younger guys. Oh, and for bringing Emanuel Terry over to Europe, that guy is a beast and you know it. Best of luck in the Play-Offs, stay true to yourself and good things will happen.


Thank you, Besiktas Sompo Sigorta, for bouncing back and becoming the feel good story with your out of nowhere winning streak in 2020. How crazy is that, 7-1 since the turn of the year, with the only defeat being by a single point, in overtime? Crazy. Best of luck in the Play-Offs, but feels like you won't need it the way you're playing right now.


Thank you, AEK, for proving there is life after Howard Sant-Roos. Also, good to see you winning games on Greek firepower, with Nikos Zisis, Vlado Jankovic and Linos Chryisikopoulos leading the scoring, like they did last week. Best of luck in the Play-Offs, although your opponents will probably need it more than you will.


Thank you, JDA Dijon, for dominating on two fronts, playing above average basketball in the BCL and waaaaaay above average basketball in the French League. We still see you competing for the double, as long as Casademont Zaragoza aren't in your way... Best of luck in the Play-Offs, stay confident.


Thank you, Dinamo Sassari, for the best basketball version of the Hair-Bear-Bunch, with Dwayne Evans and Dyshawn Pierre leading the way with their hairdos. Oh, and the basketball part is pretty awesome too. Plus the press conferences, they are usually a must-watch after the games because of coach Gianmarco Pozzecco. Best of luck in the Play-Offs, just remain the coolest team in Europe and you'll do good!


Thank you, Turk Telekom, for being so dominant in your first year in the Basketball Champions League. You've got a nice little balance going on between the Turkish players and the internationals, you'll have the home court advantage in the Round of 16 and possibly in the Quarter-Finals too, so that says a lot about your time in the BCL. Best of luck in the Play-Offs...come on, who needs luck when you've got Wiltjer, Fall, Johnson, Baygul, Edge, Turen, Guven...


Thank you, ERA Nymburk, for being the poster club of the Basketball Champions League. This is what it should be about, a national champ getting an opportunity to show its worth in a continental championship, and taking full advantage of that opportunity. Because when you are 23-0 in your domestic league and 11-2 over here, that's called taking full advantage. Best of luck in the Play-Offs, if you could defeat Tenerife, sky is the limit for you guys.


Thank you, Casademont Zaragoza, for switching through gears over the last five Gamedays, which saw you put together a five-game winning streak. That's it. We always knew a team which is a win behind the top spot in Liga Endesa could take over their respective group in here. It was just a matter of time. Best of luck in the Play-Offs. Feels like you could end up with a trophy in your hands this season. Not necessarily this trophy. But a trophy.


Thank you, Iberostar Tenerife, for being an inspiration with your ways of always trying to improve. Like, say, when you bring in a guy like Aaron White to a team which already had the best record in the BCL and was in the Top 4 of the Spanish League. This squad will never get complacent, and we love it. Best of luck in the FIBA Intercontinental Cup, coming up this weekend.


Thank you, Hapoel Bank Yahav Jerusalem, for showing that you can have five players who are strong on the ball, and yet, all five of them can function as a team, with no jealousy at all. Feldeine, Thomas, Brown, Blatt, Braimoh, Mack, Holland - all of them could go and say, "hey man I deserve to be the number one option here!" But they are not doing that. Because they can see for themselves that they are winning and have a golden opportunity to make this season a memorable one. Best of luck in the Play-Offs, people. With home court advantage the rest of the way. Golden opportunity, told you.

*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.