In today’s article, I will turn my attention to the FIBA Europe Cup, a competition that has only one group stage round remaining. Here we saw a lot of interesting matches and some of the teams have already secured the place in the next round where, from these eight groups, only best two teams will advance and form another four main groups. Let’s check who’s in and who’s out of the competition before the last round.
In Group A, the two teams already qualified are Benfica and Leiden, while Inter Bratislava and Pecsi are out of the competition. In the last round, Benfica will travel to Slovakia to face Inter, while Leiden will play at home against Pecsi. In Group B, Zwolle and Nes Ziona are qualified, despite the fact that Ziona has one game less than their third-place followers, Keravnos. Kapfenberg is on the last place with 4 defeats from 4 games. In Group C the main favourites to qualify respected their status and already got the tickets for the next phase. Ventspils will win the group, while Bayreuth secured the qualification berth in the last round when they beat Z-Mobile Prishtina away 93-68. In the last place, APOEL has one home game against Bayreuth and the last chance to get a win in this competition.
In Group D, Bahcesehir and Oradea split their h2h games, while winning all other games, which mean they are already qualified with a 4-1 record, while Sibiu and Fribourg are eliminated. In Group G the history is the same, with Enisey and U-BT Cluj-Napoca already qualified before the last games. Both teams will meet in the last round to see who the winners of this group are. In Russia, Enisey won 97-87, so they have a 10 points advantage before this one. Another group with everything settle is Group H where Kormend and Bakken Bears gave no chance to Legia or Kataja to hope for the next round.
The groups E and F still have at least one place available. In Group E, one of the main favourites to win the competition, Pinar Karsiyaka secured the tickets for the next round, while for the second place will fight Spirou Charleroi, Basic-Fit Brussels and Groningen. In the last round, Spirou will travel to Groningen, while Brussels must travel to Turkey and make a big match in order to have chances to go further. Spirou has some chances to go further because, in the first game against Groningen, they won 87-56, a difference too hard to be recouped by Groningen. But, if Brussels win at Pinar, the qualification math will be tough because they beat twice Spirou and lost twice against Groningen.
In Group F nobody is already qualified, so last two games are crucial for the teams. Tsmoki Minsk and Kyiv Basket have 8 points and fight each other, while Dnipro and Lukoil Levski have 7 points, before last games. In the first meeting, Tsmoki wins at Kyiv with 99-74, while Levski won at home 85-78. The results are very complicated, with many unexpected results, but Tsmoki has the biggest chances to qualify in the next round, while for the second place Kyiv has big chances because they have better results against Dnipro and Lukoil. But, if Dnipro wins and Tsmoki lost, Dnipro will get the tickets for the next round.
Those are the teams qualified for the next round, while in Group E and F there are still big stakes in play. We’ll see who has the biggest nerves and who deserve to clinch a qualification spot.
Bogdan Vasile Tirc