In September 2 rounds of qualifiers will decide who is going to the groups of the Basketball Champions League or who will fall into FIBA Europe Cup regular season. There are 16 teams engaged in this battle and only 4 winners can reach BasketballCL spots. While the majority of those squads accepted to play in the inferior competition, there are 4 clubs that decided to end their European journey if they were eliminated from Champions League Qualifiers. Let’s see who are those clubs:
Igokea Alexandrovac – the ABA League participant and the champion of Bosnia and Herzegovina has a tough way to reach BasketballCL. They have to beat in the first round the Romanian powerhouse U-Banca Transilvania and this will be extremely difficult. Then they will fight with the winner between Sporting and Fribourg Olympic. Igokea has built a decent roster, based mostly on ex-Yugoslavian players and 3 experienced Americans: Jackie Carmichael, Anthony Clemmons and Antabia Waller.
U-Banca Transilvania – The Romanian Cup Champions had a good season in FIBA Europe Cup and now they aim for more. They have an impressive roster for this level of the competition, maintaining some key-players like Patrick Richard, Donatas Tarolis, Karlo Zganec, Nandor Kuti and David Vida, while they added other 5 experienced players to the squad. I think they have the value to advance to the BasketballCL.
Hapoel Tel Aviv – The Israeli powerhouse is on negotiations with different players and till now they didn’t have the roster completed. Anyway, they will be a strong competitor that aims only for Champions League because they want a better level of competing.
Neptunas Klaipeda – a constant presence in the regular season of the Champions League, the Lithuanian club didn’t sign any foreigner till now. It depends as well on the budget they will have for the next season, but I am sure Neptunas will be a tough cookie in the qualifiers.
Image: FIBA Europe Cup