This year, the Turkish Airlines Euroleague will be even more interesting, because there are two new teams added to the regular season and many teams brought stronger players in order to compete at the highest level in the most powerful basketball competition in Europe.
Let’s focus now on ALBA Berlin. They finished the last season being runner-up in Germany and 3rd in the regular season. They lost the final against Bayern Munchen 3-0, after some close games. They managed to keep their core players and also gave contract extensions to their main two players, Luke Sikma and Peyton Siva. Sikma was chosen EuroCup MVP, leading his team to EuroCup Finals, averaging 11.3 points, 6.6 rebounds, 4.2 assists in 24 games. Siva averaged 15.2 points and 7.9 assists per game in the same competition.
Until today, they added two new players: Makai Mason (24 years old, 1.85 m, point guard) who played last year for Baylor University where he averaged 14.9 points, 2.5 rebounds and 3.4 assists in 28 games and Tyler Cavanaugh (25 years old, 2.06 m, Forward) who played 11 games for Utah Jazz last season and 39 games with Atlanta Hawks in 2017-2018 season where he averaged 4.7 points and 3.3 rebounds. In G-League he averaged 17.8 points, 7.6 rebounds and 2.6 assists for Salt Lake City. Those two additions will help the German team and will give them more versatility. They have a very nice arena – O2 World with 14.800 seats and my prediction is that they will win some games on home court to give their fans reasons to be happy.
However, their chances to get a play-off place are minimal, near to zero. They have a decent roster but not for Euroleague playoffs. There are many stronger teams, with bigger budgets and more key players. But, after a 5 years break, ALBA Berlin `s fans will be happy anyway, they will enjoy seeing their favourite team in the strongest European Competitions against the biggest teams.
Bogdan Vasile Tirc