Former champion and perennial EuroCup contender Unicaja opens the new campaign at home against former quarterfinalist Metropolitans, which returns to the competition for the second time in six years. Always ambitious and aiming for a long run, Unicaja was undefeated at home last season and enters the season on an eight-game home winning streak. The visitors are guided by experienced head coach Jure Zdovc, who would love to end that run.
Metropolitans' playmaker Brandon Brown is a competition rookie at 30 years of age and he will look to make his presence felt from the get-go. One of Unicaja's primary defensive plans will be slowing Brown down, which will be one of the duties for Gal Mekel who is one of Unicaja's vested veterans and contributes at both ends of the floor. Mekel will not run away from playing physical, aggressive defense in this key matchup.
Keys to victory: Unicaja Malaga
Unicaja has a proven recipe at the EuroCup level that has made it successful for so many years and that is sticking to its game plan. Unicaja does not need to start fast or finish strong, it uses patience and sticks to its game plan to better its opponents. Unicaja should use its great experience at this level, keep its turnovers to the minimum and see which weaknesses to exploit to get the season started with a victory.
Keys to victory: Boulogne Metropolitans 92
Metropolitans must enter this game with high energy from the opening tip-off and the team needs to use its athleticism to attack the basket and stay aggressive on the glass. Getting extra possessions and controlling the rhythm of the game would go a long way to helping Metropolitans settle in the season opener on the road against a EuroCup powerhouse and increase its chances of creating an upset.