05 October, 2021
15 May, 2022
to read

Week 1 Tuesday/Wednesday games preview

MIES (Switzerland) - Basketball Champions League fans are in for a treat, as a total of 15 games are on the schedule between Oct. 5 and Oct. 6.

In what will be a busy two days of action in the BCL, teams will be looking to gain an edge in their respective groups.

Here's a look at the seven games on Tuesday:

Game 1: Tofas Bursa vs. Filou Oostende - Group F

Where: Bursa, Turkey

When: 19:00 CET

Tofas reached the Round of 16 last season and will look to reach the playoffs again, while Filou Oostende is aiming to reach the playoffs after falling short last season.

Pako Cruz was a solid addition for Tofas.

Filou has a very young team with six players born in the 2000s.

Game 2: Lavrio Megabolt vs. JDA Dijon - Group C

Where: Lavrion, Greece

When: 19:30 CET

Lavrio is making their BCL debut, while JDA narrowly missed the playoffs last season and is looking for redemption.

Lavrio will have a young team.

JDA will be without Joshiko Saibou who is out until December with a knee injury.

Six players return for the French club (possible MVP candidate David Holston, Chase Simon, Charles Galliou, Abdoulaye Loum, Jacques Alinque and Robin Ducote), while Gavin Ware returns to the team after spending the 2018-19 season with the them.

Game 3: Igokea vs. PAOK mateco - Group E

Where: Laktasi, Bosnia and Herzegovina

When: 18:30 CET

Igokea reached the round of 16 last season, while PAOK last played in BCL in Season 2019-20.

James Robinson returns to Igokea after spending the 2016-17 season with the team.

Newcomer Markel Starks will be Robinson's running mate in the backcourt.

Big man Marvin Jones was arguably PAOK's biggest new arrival.

Game 4: U-BT Cluj Napoca vs. Darussafaka - Group G

Where: Cluj-Napoca, Romania

When: 19:30 CET

Cluj Napoca is making their debut in the BCL, while Darussafaka did not make the playoffs last season.

Cluj Napoca is led by American-Romanian Patrick Richard.

Darussafaka has almost an entirely new roster, as only four players returned to the team.

The new additions bring three-point shooting and athleticism to a revamped team.

Game 5: MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg vs. Banco di Sardegna Sassari - Group A

Where: Ludwisburg, Germany

When: 20:00 CET

Ludwigsburg returns to the BCL after playing in the league's first three seasons, but not playing last season, while Sassari made the round of 16 last season.

39-year-old veteran Tremmell Darden re-signed with Ludwigsburg.

The German team also got a boost in the frontcourt with the signing of Yoeli Childs.

Sassari also has a veteran player in 38-year-old American-Polish guard David Logan, who previously played for the team back in 2014-2016.

The Italian club will have a strong backcourt that features Logan and two newcomers Tyus Battle and Anthony Clemmons.

Both teams are talented enough to make a push for the playoffs.

Game 6: Hapoel Bank Yahav Jerusalem vs. Pinar Karsiyaka - Group B

Where: Jerusalem, Israel

When: 21:00 CET

Karsiyaka made a splash this offseason by signing Bonzie Colson from SIG Strasbourg, who was last season's MVP and leading scorer.

The Turkish club also signed James Blackmon, Akil Mitchell and most recently, Michael Roll, who is coming off a summer where he won a gold medal with Tunisia at the FIBA AfroBasket 2021.

Karsiyaka finished runner-up last season and are viewed as one of the title contenders for this season.

Hapoel Bank Yahav Jerusalem, who did not make the playoffs last season, also had a very nice offseason by signing Retin Obasohan, two former NBA players Thon Maker and Anthony Bennett, as well as Sean Kilpatrick, Kaiser Gates and Jalen Adams.

A very intriguing first game in what should be a tough and competitive Group B.

Game 7: Nutribullet Treviso vs. VEF Riga - Group D

Where: Treviso, Italy

When: 20:30 CET

Nutribullet is making their debut in the BCL, while VEF Riga made the round of 16 last season.

The Italian club went 3-0 in the qualifying round to reach the 32-team regular season field and will look to carry that momentum going forward.

Riga lost their "big 3" of Kyle Allman, Michale Kyser and Isaiah Pineiro, but re-tooled by adding Jalen Riley, Ron Curry, Rayshaun Hammonds and Devondrick Walker.

Here's a look at the eight games on Wednesday:

Game 1: Prometey vs. Lenovo Tenerife - Group A

Where: Zaporizhia, Ukraine

When: 19:00 CET

Prometey are making their debut in the BCL, while Tenerife reached the quarterfinals last season.

The Ukrainian club is led by D'Angelo Harrison, but he's also surrounded by plenty of talent that includes Miro Bilan, DJ Kennedy and Olexandr Mishula.

Tenerife also has high hopes entering the season, as they are viewed as one of the favorites.

The Spanish club has a loaded roster.

Bruno Fitipaldo, Marcelinho Huertas, Dejan Todorovic, Sasu Salin, Sergio Rodriguez, Aaron Doornekamp, Emir Sulejmanovic, Fran Guerra and Giorgi Shermadini are all back from last season.

Shermadini is out six weeks with a back injury, so Tenerife signed another big man, Julian Gamble, to fill in.

Tenerife's important newcomers include Tobias Borg, Kyle Wiltjer and Joan Sastre.


Game 2: Nizhny Novgorod vs. Unicaja - Group C

Where: Nizhny Novgorod, Russia

When: 19:00 CET

Nizhny reached the quarterfinals last season, while Unicaja is making their BCL debut.

Nizhny's roster features all domestic Russian players, with the exception  of Lazeric Jones (American), Rolands Freimanis (Latvia) and Nikola Jovanovic (Serbia).

Unicaja is a team that can make a deep run this season.

In the offseason, the Spanish club's biggest signing talent-wise was former NBA guard Norris Cole and the biggest signing physically was big man Michael Eric.

17-year-old Yannick Nzosa (6'10"/2.08m) from the Democratic Republic of the Congo is poised for a breakout season.

Game 3: Falco Szombathely vs. AEK - Group D

Where: Szombathely, Hungary

When: 18:00 CET

Falco failed to make the playoffs last season, while AEK made the round of 16 last season.

Zoltan Perl, Boris Barac, Szilard Benke, Benedek Varadi, Benedek Kovacs, Abel Sovegjarto and Akos Keller are all returning for Falco, while the team also added two domestic players in Gyorgy Goloman and Adam Somogyi.

AEK, meanwhile, basically have an entirely new team, as only one player, Dimitris Mavroeidis returns to the team.

Notable signings include Quino Colom, Braian Angola, Juan Pablo Vaulet and Eric Griffin.

Game 4: Galatasaray Nef vs. ERA Nymburk - Group E

Where: Istanbul, Turkey

When: 21:00 CET

Galatasaray failed to make the playoffs last season, while Nymburk reached the quarterfinals last season.

Galatasaray is hoping to improve from last season's 1-5 showing.

The Turkish club welcomed several new key additions this season including Dee Bost, Kerry Blackshear Jr., Melo Trimble and DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell.

Nymburk signed four new players this offseason in Sterling Gibbs, Frantisek Vana, Demetre Rivers and rookie Gorjok Gak.

Gibbs will help Jerrick Harding out in the backcourt.

Game 5: EWE Baskets Oldenburg vs. Rytas Vilnius - Group H

Where: Oldenburg, Germany

When: 20:00 CET

Oldenburg is returning to the BCL for the first time since 2018, while Rytas failed to make the playoffs last season.

Veteran and team legend Rickey Paulding is back for his 15th season with Oldenburg.

The German club has six new players in Max Heidegger, Bennet Hundt, Michal Michalak, TJ Holyfield, Alen Pjanic and Tai Odiase.

Odiase will fill the hole in the middle left by Rasid Mahalbasic.

On the other hand, Rytas recently signed Marko Tejic to help in the frontcourt, as well as Kenneth "Speedy" Smith to help in the backcourt.

Four new players joined the Lithuanian squad this summer: Tanner Leissner, Vaidas Kariniauskas, Margiris Normantas and Jarvis Williams.

Game 6: SIG Strasbourg vs. Kalev/Cramo - Group F

Where: Strasbourg, France

When: 20:30 CET

SIG lost in the semifinals and then third-place game last season, while Kalev/Cramo is making their BCL debut.

SIG has participated in all six BCL seasons so far.

The French club lost last season's MVP Bonzie Colson (Pinar Karsiyaka) and Ish Wainright (Toronto Raptors), but had an important signing in three-point specialist Jarell Eddie, his second stint with the team after playing with them in 2018-19.

American-Bosnian John Roberson will mainly handle the point guard duties, but he is also a solid shooter, knocking down 112 three-pointers in Australia during the 2019-20 season, setting a new NBL record.

Kalev/Cramo enter the season as the Estonian Cup winners, Estonian League champions and the reigning Latvian-Estonian title holders.

Former player and head coach Roberts Stelmahers had to overhaul the club's roster, as they welcomed eight new players including Silas Melson, Davion Berry, Kamari Murphy, JeQuan Lewis, Kristjan Kitsing, Egert Haller, Ojars Silins and Marcis Vitols.

Game 7: Happy Casa Brindisi vs. Hapoel U-NET Holon - Group G

Where: Brindisi, Italy

When: 20:30 CET

Brindisi reached the round of 16 last season, falling just short of the quarterfinals, while Holon reached the quarterfinals last season.

34-year-old Jeremy Chappell returns to Brindisi after playing with them in the 2018-19 season.

Wes Clark also returned to the Italian team after playing with the them in 2018-19.

Brindisi also added frontcourt players Myles Carter, Nathan Adrian and Scott Ulaneo.

After a successful last season, Holon brought in Maurizio Buscaglia as their new head coach.

The Israeli team then added six new players including Eidan Alber, Steven Gray, Michale Kyser, Rafael Menco, Mark Ogden and Joe Ragland.

Kyser played with VEF Riga last season, while Gray finished last season with Igokea.

Ragland will provide experience in the backcourt.

Game 8: Baxi Manresa vs. Arged BM Stal Ostrow Wielkopolski - Group B

Where: Manresa, Spain

When: 21:00 CET

Manresa played in the BCL in the 2019-20 season, while Stal Ostrow Wielkopolski are entering their first BCL season.

Only five players are back for Manresa including Guillem Jou, Dani Garcia, Rafa Martinez, Dani Perez and Yankuba Sima.

Ismael Bako is the biggest arrival for the Spanish club, as well as Chima Moneke who played with the Nigerian national team during training camp before the Tokyo Olympics.

Manresa will be deep in the frontcourt, as they also signed Luke Maye, who has experience at both the college level and NBA G League with North Carolina and the Wisconsin Herd, respectively.

Stal Ostrow Wielkopolski only has three returning players in James Florence, Jaroslaw Mokros and Denzel Andersson.

The Polish club added two former NBA G League players in James Palmer Jr. and Terry Larrier, as well as four domestic Polish players in Aleksander Zalucki, Jakub Wojciechowski, Igor Wadowski and Damian Kulig.

Michael Young is also a key addition in the frontcourt, having experience in the G League and multiple teams in Europe.

As previously mentioned, Group B figures to be one of the groups of death, as all four teams are stacked with playing and coaching talent.