20 October, 2020
09 May, 2021
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Title defense starting point: Group H coaches survey

MIES (Switzerland) - Group H is the envy of the Regular Season field because it includes the team which all others want to emulate, the defending champions Hereda San Pablo Burgos.

The Spanish club will begin their Basketball Champions League title defense by going up against Turkish BCL debutants Darüssafaka Tekfen, perennial Belgian champions Filou Oostende who reached the Round of 16 in 2019-20 and Italian side Happy Casa Brindisi, who are returning to the competition after just missing out on the Play-Offs last season.

We asked each coach 10 questions to help us preview Group H action, which tips off Wednesday October 28th (Oostende head coach Dario Gjergja was unable to answer):

Which teams in your group have the best roster and/or coach and why do you think so?

Selcuk Ernak (Darüssafaka Tekfen): Burgos have the best roster. They are the defending champions, so they also have the best coach.
Frank Vitucci (Happy Casa Brindisi): Burgos, the defending champion, have the best roster. They have players with great talent and European experience.
Joan Penarroya (Hereda San Pablo Burgos): It is hard to say at this point. I think all four teams in our group have the roster and coaches to make a very good competition.

Which games in your group would you recommend to a neutral basketball fan?

Selcuk Ernak: Our home game against Burgos will be a great game to watch.
Frank Vitucci: All the games of New Basket Happy Casa Brindisi
Joan Penarroya: Probably any game of the last two game days, where the final classification will be defined.

Which games in this group will be the toughest for your team and why?

Selcuk Ernak: Every game in the group will be tough because there is not a lot of room for error, if you lose more than two games you might not be advancing to the Play-Offs. Also, the home games are crucial.
Frank Vitucci: Burgos for many reasons, especially because they are a very good team and also because the trip there from Brindisi is very complicated.
Joan Penarroya: I would say that there are no games without complications in this group. All of them will be tough.

Name one or more players in this group which you think are really special (because they have a very specific skill, because they are difficult to defend, etc).

Selcuk Ernak: D'Angelo Harrison [of Brindisi], Thaddus McFadden [of Burgos] and Mario Nakic [of Oostende].
Frank Vitucci: Burgos big man Dejan Kravic because he is a skilled and talented player.
Joan Penarroya: I wouldn’t know which player to choose. I am more worried about the way they will function as a team rather than the individualities they may have.

Name one or more players in this group which you expect to be a positive surprise.

Selcuk Ernak: Dogus Ozdemiroglu from our team.
Frank Vitucci: The nineteen-year-old Mario Nakic, of Oostende. He is a very interesting prospect.
Joan Penarroya: I wouldn’t dare to give names. I think we all have players that could be a positive surprise.

Which team in this group play a style of basketball that you find interesting, and why?

Selcuk Ernak: We will watch and see about that
Frank Vitucci: All teams of our group play an interesting style of basketball.
Joan Penarroya: I still don’t have enough knowledge of the teams to make this valuation.

Which team in this group will have the best defense and which one the best offense?

Selcuk Ernak: Oostende is a very good defensive team.
Frank Vitucci: Darussafaka could run the best defense. We probably could compete for the best offense in the group.
Joan Penarroya: Same as above.


Which team in this group plays with the fastest pace and which one with the slowest pace?

Selcuk Ernak: Burgos has the fastest pace.
Frank Vitucci: No answer.
Joan Penarroya: It’s still too soon to give an answer to this question, because we haven’t played many games yet.

If you could spend a couple of extra days in one of the cities you will visit in this group, or if you took out the whole team to a restaurant (the club president is paying!) which city would you choose?

Selcuk Ernak: It would be Brindisi, I have been there many times and I like Italy a lot.
Frank Vitucci: Istanbul
Joan Penarroya: I’m sure that I would enjoy the three of them, but Istanbul seems like a fascinating city to me. And in order to take the team out to dinner, I have no doubts that I would find good places to have dinner in any of these cities.

Is the team that will win the 2021 BCL trophy in this group? (you can just give a yes or no answer, you don’t need to name the team)

Selcuk Ernak: It's very possible.
Frank Vitucci: Maybe.
Joan Penarroya: I hope so!