Five of the teams in this group played the EuroCup last season and several of them know the others well. 2013 champion and last season's runner-up Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar, ALBA Berlin and Limoges CSP were all in the same regular season group and Lokomotiv then faced Cedevita Zagreb in the Top 16. Turkish League runner-up Tofas Bursa and Poland's Arka Gdynia, which returns to the competition after six years away, add spice to the mix.
LOKOMOTIV KUBAN KRASNODAR
The 7DAYS EuroCup runner-up is back with the goal of getting one step higher this time around. Lokomotiv won its first 18 games last season to reach the finals with a perfect record, but Darussafaka Istanbul stopped the Russian giant in its tracks. A EuroCup champion in 2013, Lokomotiv has always been a tough opponent in this competition with 71 wins from 91 games. With one of the most enthusiastic fan bases in Russia, Lokomotiv always has a competitive roster and last season's experience will keep it focused all season long.
It is already the team to beat in Croatian basketball and Cedevita wants to take this success into the EuroCup. Cedevita has a lot of experience in the competition, as it is set to start its seventh EuroCup campaign. Its best result came in the 2010-11 season, in which Cedevita went all the way to the semifinals. Cedevita has been able to make it to the Top 16 in each of the last two seasons, but has been left far away from playoff territory, combining for a 2-10 record in that phase. Cedevita hopes to be more competitive and challenge for a playoff spot this season.
ALBA is a traditional powerhouse in European competitions and is set to start its 12th EuroCup season. ALBA made it to the final in 2010, but has not been able to match that success. The German powerhouse went to the quarterfinals in 2014 and reached the eighthfinals in 2016, but has not advanced past the Top 16 in either of the last two seasons. With veteran head coach Aito Garcia Reneses leading the team, ALBA will be a fun-to-watch, competitive team ready to break from its recent past and live up to its traditional standards.
Returning to the competition for the second consecutive campaign, Tofas Bursa aims to build on its experience from last season and make a longer run in the competition. Tofas is coming off a very successful domestic season in which it reached finals in both the Turkish League playoffs and the Turkish Cup. With most of its core staying from last season, including proven scorers such as Sammy Mejia and Pierria Henry and veteran point guard Baris Ermis, Coach Orhun Ene and Tofas will surely be aiming for more this season.
The proud French club will be part of the EuroCup for the fourth time in the last five years. Last season, with a new head coach and a fully reconstructed team, Limoges might have even surpassed some expectations as it reached the EuroCup Top 16 and got to the French League semifinals. Now, a team that is a year older and more experienced will have a better understanding of what it takes to make it even further. From a city with a great basketball tradition, every game night is a special night in Limoges.
A Polish club with a new name and a great tradition, Gdynia returns to the EuroCup for the first time since 2004, which was its only previous appearance in the competition. Gdynia is a nine-time champion of Poland and played nine consecutive seasons in the EuroLeague between 2004 and 2013. It even reached the playoffs in 2010. Now, after a few down seasons, Gdynia is once again on the rise and becoming more competitive. The club will look to keep growing as it gets ready to attack the new challenges that lay ahead.