17 October, 2023
05 May, 2024
Power Rankings: Season 8, Volume 10
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Power Rankings: Season 8, Volume 10

MIES (Switzerland) - Season 8 of the Basketball Champions League has  reached the Quarter-Finals phase. The Final Four is less than a month away, meaning it's time for another Power Rankings update.

We are trying to rank all eight teams based on their overall performance, not just their BCL record. That means that their domestic league results are also taken into account, because you'll feel better about a team that won 10 straight games overall, than about a team that won two BCL games, but lost eight games in their domestic championship.

You can revisit the previous editions of the Power Rankings here: Volume 1 Volume 2 | Volume 3 | Volume 4 | Volume 5 | Volume 6 | Volume 7 | Volume 8 | Volume 9.

#8 Tofas Bursa (+3)

BCL record: 6-9
Domestic championship record: 10-15

The records say it all, plus the fact that Tofas were on a seven-game losing streak until last weekend, when they won the Bursa derby against Bursaspor Info Yatirim. Troubled times, amplified by the fact that they have to win at least one game in San Cristobal de La Laguna, Tenerife, Spain if they want to see the Road to Belgrade and the Final Four.

#7 Promitheas Patras (=)

BCL record: 9-5
Domestic championship record: 13-9

Okay, let's just ignore the 31-point defeat to Panathinaikos for a second. The only other defeat Promitheas Patras had over the past month was a one-point loss to Hapoel Holon, which was actually a win, since they claimed the tiebreaker there and advanced to the Quarter-Finals here. The matchup with Unicaja could be a nightmare, but coach Ilias Papatheodorou has won these kinds of games in the past. But until he wins them in the present, they'll be #7 here.

#6 MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg (=)

BCL record: 8-7
Domestic championship record: 16-10

The thing about teams who live by the three and die by the three is that it's impossible to read their true colors. Ludwigsburg are capable of scoring 90+ points on the road (which they will probably need to do, if they are to eliminate Murcia), but they are also capable of scoring just 60 points at home, and lose a game by 34 (which they did over the weekend). One big plus? Ariel Hukporti is back in town!

#5 Peristeri bwin (+5)

BCL record: 8-6
Domestic championship record: 16-7

Two things you need to know: Peristeri are on a seven-game winning streak in all competitions, they haven't lost a game in a whole month, clearly playing their best basketball not just this season, but over the last five years. The last time they were on a seven-game win run was in October 2019 (Iraklis, Rethymno, Panionios, Gaziantep, AEK, VEF Riga, Lavrio), and the last time they won more than seven in a row was in 2017-18, when they won 24 games in a row in the Greek Second Division.
The other thing to know? Joe Ragland has won his fourth MVP of the Month award in the BCL, nobody else has more than two.


#4 UCAM Murcia (+1)

BCL record: 9-3
Domestic championship record: 17-10

Is it a curse if we mentioned now that UCAM Murcia's only home defeat in the BCL over the past 23 games was in the Quarter-Finals last season? Is it a curse if they lose another Quarter-Finals home game now because we mentioned it? That home record could and should do the trick against MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg in the Quarter-Finals, so Murcia are surely feeling good about their chances to reach their second ever BCL Final Four.

#3 Lenovo Tenerife (=)

BCL record: 8-4
Domestic championship record: 17-10

This is your weekly reminder that Marcelinho Huertas is almost 41, and is playing the highest scoring season of his entire career. He's also the leader of the MVP Race, and that's about as important as being the leader of the Power Rankings, you know. You could wonder why they are ahead of UCAM Murcia when they have similar records, and there's a two-fold answer to that, because (1) they are on a 20-game winning streak at home in the BCL, and that's one win better than Murcia over the same stretch, and (2) they won seven of their last 10 games in all competition, compared to Murcia's six. You see? Such a slim margin.

#2 Telekom Baskets Bonn (+2)

BCL record: 8-4
Domestic championship record: 16-10

You know who's awesome? Brian Fobbs is awesome. And underrated, as our columnist Diccon Lloyd-Smeath noted last week, in what is another hint of how good of a job the Telekom Baskets Bonn front office did last summer, when they put together a whole new roster to claim the #2 spot in these rankings. Okay, okay, they are also in contention to reach another Final Four and win back-to-back BCL titles, but be real, what's more important? Another trophy, or the critical acclaim of the Power Rankings?
(Don't answer that.)
Four straight wins in all competitions, second-best record (5-1) in the Round of 16 in the BCL, good times all around for the magenta-colored team.

#1 Unicaja (=)

BCL record: 10-2
Domestic championship record: 22-5

Unicaja are 7-1 over their last eight games in all competitions and they've scored 201 points in their last two Spanish Liga Endesa battles. They failed to reach 80+ points only twice in their 18 games so far in 2024,  and still won both of those games. So it's so obvious they have a plan, again. It's just that the  2023 "Ibon tiene un plan" slogan needs an update to the 2024 version "Ibon ima plan" now, because coach Navarro and his players have set their sights on the Final Four in Belgrade. The national plan has worked, time to upgrade it to the international plan.

*The power rankings are entirely subjective and is in no way a true, accurate ranking systems. All comments are purely those of the author.