Eurocup (former ULEB Cup) is the second most popular and important club basketball tournament in Europe. The Eurocup was played for the first time in the 2002/03 season. Twenty teams, divided into two groups, take part in the draw. The group tournament is held in two rounds. According to the results of the first stage, eight strongest teams from each group go to the playoffs. At the stage ⅛ of the final and at the subsequent stages of the playoffs, the teams determine the winner based on the results of one match.
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The king is gone – the throne is free
There is not a single team in the current Eurocup competition that previously held this title. The winners of the last three seasons (Virtus, Monaco, Valencia) play in the Euroleague, the earlier champions either play in less prestigious tournaments or, in general, have not made it to the European Cup zone. Whoever wins the trophy this season will do so for the first time in their history. Let’s see who, according to experts and bookmakers, can qualify for the semi-finals, with the prospect of winning the Eurocup final.
The list of tournament favorites includes two Spanish and Turkish teams, as well as a representative of Israel.
- Hapoel Tel Aviv
- Turk Telecom
- Gran Canaria
- Joventut Badalona
Hapoel Tel Aviv
If you look at the history of Hapoel from Tel Aviv, it may seem that the best times of the club are long behind – in the sixties of the last century. At the beginning of this century, the team generally flew out of the top division. However, today the club is trying to regain lost ground. In the Israeli Championship, Hapoel is in second place, in the Eurocup group stage it takes first place in Group B. With such a game, there is every chance to see the Israelis in the Eurocup final.
The team has never won the Turkish championship and did not shine in the international arena. This situation may change this season. Turk Telekom has taken the lead in the national championship and feels quite confident in the Eurocup group stage. Last season, the Turks finished the campaign for the trophy at the ⅛ final stage. This season the team is going to go further.
The Yellow-Blues have already played in the Eurocup final in the 2014/15 season. Today, the team intends not only to repeat, but also to develop success by winning the first trophy in its history. Gran Canaria started very confidently in the AKB league (Spanish championship), in the Eurocup group stage they won three of the four starting matches.
The team was founded just eight years ago – in 2014. During this time, the “white-greens” were able not only to gain a foothold in the Turkish Super League, but also to enter the international arena. Last season, the team created a real sensation. reaching the final of the Eurocup. Having gained invaluable experience of playing at such a level, the “white-greens” this year are able to build on their last year’s success and become the owner of the Eurocup.
Repeated champion of Spain, winner of the European Cup and European Cup, a regular participant in the Euroleague. It’s all about Joventut from the Spanish town of Badalona and it’s all in the past. However, today the “black-greens” got a second wind. The team ranks second in Group A of the Eurocup and is fighting for a place in the playoffs in the Spanish championship. Perhaps Hoventut is able to win another European trophy and regain its former glory this season.