08 October, 2019
04 October, 2020
10 Sasu Salin (TENRF)
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Regular Season Draw reaction: It's complicated, say Group A teams

MIES (Switzerland) - 'Complicated' and 'challenging' were the most frequently used words by Group A team representatives in the wake of Wednesday's Draw for the 2020-21 Basketball Champions League Regular Season.

Group A includes Dinamo Banco di Sardegna Sassari (ITA), Galatasaray Doga Sigorta (TUR), Iberostar Tenerife (ESP), Peristeri (GRE), Rytas Vilnius (LTU), SIG Strasbourg (FRA) and VEF Riga (LAT) while the eighth and final participant will emerge from the Qualification Rounds and will be one out of Hapoel Tel Aviv (ISR), Bakken Bears (DEN), Belfius Mons-Hainaut (BEL) or Anwil Wloclawek (POL).

Iberostar Tenerife see an attractive group for fans that highlights the competitive growth of BCL

"It is a quite challenging group, we already know some of the opponents because we faced them in previous editions, then there are some which are established in this competition like Sassari, while Rytas have a long tradition in the EuroCup," said Tenerife Sporting Director Aniano Cabrera.

"From a sporting perspective it's going to be a high-level competition and we also have to adapt the travel schedule to our planning for the [Spanish] Liga Endesa, but from the fans' perspective it will sure be a very attractive competition.

"Strasbourg is a well-known team in Europe whom we've played before, everybody knows how hard is to play against a Greek team like Peristeri, whom we faced last year, we have also played against Riga, and we will play for the first time against Galatasaray, a very well-respected club which long tradition in Europe.

"This draw clearly shows how tough this year is going to be and highlights how much the BCL has grown in such a short period of time.

Excited to join the BCL, Galatasaray aim straight for the top

"Ask any coach and they will all tell you their group is the hardest, but I really think our group is going to be really hard," Galatasaray Doga Sigorta Head Coach Ertugrul Erdogan said.

"I think this season’s BCL will be a great competition with valuable teams and strong rosters. Every club is renewing their squad, we are building a new team. I am very excited because this will be the first time Galatasaray Doga Sigorta will play in the BCL and the first time I coach in the BCL. I hope we will add a color and excitement to the competition.

"There is the added difficulty of travelling as we have an unknown future because of the pandemic. Hopefully we will overcome this. I hope we can turn back to normal and we can be with our fans and have their support.

"Our first goal is to qualify from our group and make it to the Round of 16. And our ultimate goal is to reach the Final Four, as is the case for all the other teams.

"I think we have the same chances as the other clubs. Even though we are trying to build a new team, Galatasaray always played and will play to reach the very top.

"I am very excited. I think BCL’s real value will be shown this season. Hopefully with the fans in the arena. But I must say that it will be a hard season for both the organizers and the players, because of the virus."

Peristeri motivated to distinguish themselves in 'the most difficult group'

"First of all, we are happy to participate for the second consecutive season in the Basketball Champions League, a competition that we see growing stronger year by year," commented Peristeri head coach Nikos Papanikolopoulos.

"Several good teams have been added to the BCL and this element enhances the competition. We knew from the beginning that this year the draw would involve many strong and equal teams. We will have a complete picture when our roster is completed, but also the rosters of our opponents.

"At a first glance, we can realize that this is obviously the most difficult group, and it does not have any weak teams. Participation in the BCL is an important challenge for us and the difficulty of the group gives us an even greater motivation for distinction."

The two island teams stand out in the eyes of BCL newcomers Rytas

"This is one of the stronger groups that came out of the draw, where the teams of Tenerife and Sassari stand out with their game," said Rytas head coach Donaldas Kairys.

"At this point, it is difficult to talk about the potential of each team, so we look at everything with a positive outlook and we don't consider any team to be an insurmountable opponent," the Lithuanian coach added.

"The names of the teams in the group sound imposing and it will be interesting to see how the rosters will shape out," said Rytas captain Arnas Butkevicius.

"However, no matter who the opponent is, in order to win you have to start with the maximum dedication in your game and only then can you expect a positive result."

Sassari say the complexity of the group generates 'prestige and excitement'

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"It's obviously difficult to have a precise image of the opponents at this stage," said Sassari head coach Gianmarco Pozzecco.

"I am convinced that our group is a high-level group with strong teams, although now more than ever it's important to understand the way in which the coronavirus emergency might impact the budget and roster composition of every team.

"I think it's a very complicated group, albeit perhaps not the most difficult to come out of the draw, and we have commented with my staff and president [Stefano] Sardara that, leaving aside the complexity of these opponents, there is prestige and excitement in facing off against teams of such long tradition."