08 October, 2019
04 October, 2020
Long Read
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Basketball Champions League Power Rankings: Volume 14

MIES (Switzerland) - Basketball Champions League has reached the Play-Offs, and there are just 16 teams left in the competition. Time for us to sort them out purely by their current power, in our Power Rankings.


Troubled times for Teksut Bandirma. In case you haven't heard, they lost Emanuel Terry, Jaime Smith and Ian Hummer. Replacing them are three 16-year-olds in Abdullah Ozer, Anil Karaca and Kaan Bozkurt, and one 18-year-old Ahmet Hakan Oge. Average age is 20, as of March 2nd. And they have to play ERA Nymburk, the best Regular Season team of the season. Ouch.


Lietkabelis are at their best when they are the outsiders. They started the season 0-4, but went on reach the last Gameday with the slimmest of chances to make the Play-Offs. Which they did. On a three-point foul. In the very last second of the Regular Season. How crazy is that!? Still, hard to see them doing the damage against Casademont Zaragoza.


Just Filou Oostende's luck. They finally reached the Play-Offs and heard that Shevon Thompson is done for the season, straight away. Coach Dario Gjergja will have to find a way how to produce 13.5 points and 10.1 rebounds per game, and he'll have to do it against Iberostar Tenerife. Horrible luck, horrible draw for the Belgian champs.


JDA Dijon, take notice. Nizhny Novgorod have been a dangerous team previously in their Basketball Champions League runs, and their last two VTB United League games could indicate they are in a good rhythm again: They lost away at Khimki by just four, then defeated Lokomotiv Kuban by three. JDA Dijon are still strong favorites, but don't say we didn't warn you about Nizhny.


Just here to tell you that Peristeri winmasters have to defeat Hapoel Bank Yahav Jerusalem in Israel if they want to reach the Quarter-Finals. Mission impossible?


Donald Sloan has landed and is getting adjusted to the surroundings in Germany. But the surroundings aren't that fun, because Telekom Baskets Bonn are in the middle of a relegation battle in Bundesliga. And they have to face AEK here. Tough forecast ahead, time to weather the storm.


Good news for San Pablo Burgos? They are the best offensive rebounding team of the Basketball Champions League.
Bad news for San Pablo Burgos? They are up against the best defensive rebounding team of the Basketball Champions League, in Dinamo Sassari. It's going to be a tough one, for sure.


Besiktas Sompo Sigorta have been here before, in a domestic derby in the Play-Offs. And they lost it, against Pinar Karsiyaka, in Season One. But this time, they are the underdogs in that all-Turkish affair, because they barely made the Play-Offs, while Turk Telekom won their group. Being an underdog in that kind of a battle proved to be the winning formula for Pinar v Besiktas, but also for UCAM Murcia v Iberostar Tenerife in Season Two.


Turk Telekom are just trying not to be the Besiktas from 2017 or the Tenerife from 2018, that's all. Those two very frontrunners to make the Final Four, but lost to their fellow countrymen on the very first step of the Play-Offs. Change the script, Turk Telekom. Now.


Basketball isn't the highest of priorities in Italy these days, and it's clear to see why. Dinamo Sassari have played just one game over the last month, meaning that either they will be well rested for Burgos, or will show signs of rust against them this week. Tough to guess. Hence their drop to seventh spot, even though they are a firm candidate for the trophy.


Hold up. JDA Dijon are outside of the Top 5!? What is wrong with me... I've been saying they are my underdog pick to win everything, the French Leaders Cup, the French League, the Basketball Champions League, all of that, all season long, and now I put them outside of the Top 5!? Sorry, Dijon. I'll make it up to you next week. For sure.


AEK are more than ready for elimination games. Just look at their last three games:
- defeated Promitheas 61-57 to win the Greek Cup;
- defeated Rethymno 84-83, somehow, not sure how, because they were down by a lot in the final minute;
- defeated Panionios 101-96 in overtime. Yep. Play-Offs ready. Be warned, Telekom Baskets Bonn (and everybody else, too).


Here, go to this link. Fast forward to 21:00 to listen to Robin Benzing explaining how he dissected Dijon's defense, one step at a time. Thank me later.
(Btw, if Casademont Zaragoza win the whole thing, who is the MVP? It could be anybody, really.)


Here, go to this link. That's just another day at the office for Marcelinho Huertas. He had 25 points and 16 assists, yes, twenty-five points and yes, sixteen assists against Joventut Badalona over the weekend. I'd say Iberostar Tenerife's point guard is all warmed up for the Play-Offs.


ERA Nymburk won 24 games in a row, coming into the Play-Offs. That's it. That's all. They haven't lost a game since December 3. It's March now. It really is.


Come on, man. It's not fair. Hapoel Bank Yahav Jerusalem were already the team to beat, according to Power Rankings. And now, they've got Emanuel Terry!? One of the leading candidates for the MVP of the Season, according to our MVP Race? Come on, man. It's not fair. 

*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.