The battle of the “old” newcomers: Brose Bamberg – Virtus Bologna

The battle of the “old” newcomers: Brose BambergVirtus Bologna

This will be one of the most enjoyable basketball game in the European competition. Two tough teams who made history in the modern era in their domestic leagues but as well in the Euroleague. Since this season both organizations decided to join Basketball Champions League, so they are practically newcomers but were from the beginning strong title contenders as I wrote before.

Let’s take a deeper look at each team:

  • Brose Bamberg was not impressive in the first games of the group, but step by step they got in shape. They have an experienced core of players like Tyrese Rice, Ricky Hickman and Nikos Zizis, who has Euroleague level. These 3 guards are together the most valuable backcourt in BasketballCL.
  • Let’s not forget that Tyrese Rice was the MVP of the Euroleague Final 4 back in 2014 when his former team Maccabi Tel Aviv won the European title in front of the big favourite Real Madrid. Ricky Hickman was as well there helping Rice to lift the trophy with an outstanding performance for Maccabi. Nikos Zizis doesn’t need any presentation since he was one of the most intelligent and skilled guards in Europe for many years.
  • I think the biggest advantage for Bamberg in this Final 4 in Antwerp it is simply the experience and the homogeneity of the roster. Not only the guards but as well Bryce Taylor, Augustine Rubit, Cliff Alexander, Elias Harris together with the German bench players are almost the same group that played together for Bamberg last season in Euroleague. They know each other very well and they can build solid relationships on the court which can be decisive in a difficult moment. Remember that the German powerhouse came back in the last minutes on the AEK Athens court, erasing a 12 points deficit in order to enter the Final 4. This says a lot about the maturity of the group.
  • On the other side, Virtus Bologna was more impressive in the BasketballCL campaign. They dominated the group and qualified relatively easy to the Final 4 after strong games at home when they destroyed the French opponents. In Italy, the squad won’t enter the playoff but this can be an important factor for them to focus instead only on the European trophy. I think they did this from October playing on different levels of motivation in the domestic league and in BCL.
  • But Virtus Bologna has also an important secret weapon: in BasketballCL they can use all the foreigners, not only 6 like in Legabasket, but 8, which will make their roster deeper. Another key factor could be the experienced coach Sasha Djordjevic. Let’s see if he can manage to create a strong discipline, the only thing that is missing for Bologna on both sides of the court.

Photo credit:

Gratian Cormos,

Brose Bamberg and Virtus Bologna

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