Group D may be one of the toughest in 7DAYS EuroCup history with three former champs and a reigning domestic champion among the competitors. Unicaja Malaga returns to the competitions after a year in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague following its 2017 EuroCup title. UNICS Kazan took the crown in 2011 and Rytas Vilnius is a two-time winner (2005, 2009). Italian Cup holder Fiat Turin and Fraport Skyliners Frankfurt are clubs that bring with them rich basketball history, while debutante Mornar Bar is the reigning Montenegrin League champion.
Unicaja returns to the 7DAYS EuroCup for the first time since lifting the trophy in 2017, at the end of its first season in the competition. The club claimed its first continental title in 16 years – since winning the Korac Cup title in 2001 – and won its first trophy of any kind in 11 years by downing Valencia Basket in come-from-behind fashion. Unicaja did not have the home-court advantage in any playoffs series, but managed to go all the way. It shows the great character Unicaja has which, along with years of EuroLeague experience and a loyal fan base, makes it a top contender yet again this season.
A classic team in the competition, UNICS won the EuroCup in 2011 and reached the final in 2014. Even though UNICS has not been able to match that success, the Russian powerhouse has been able to stay very competitive every time it played the EuroCup. The team reached the semifinals in 2015, the eighthfinals in 2016 and the quarterfinals last season. UNICS is set to start its 12th EuroCup season, which means few squads will be more experienced and hungry to go all the way this time around.
All eyes will be on Fiat Turin at the start of the season, as 77-year-old head coach Larry Brown will make his EuroCup debut. The club was re-founded in 2015 and comes off its first-ever EuroCup campaign. Fiat had a 3-0 start and used that momentum to reach the Top 16 in which, despite winning two of its three opening games, the Italian powerhouse just missed the playoffs. Fiat won the Italian Cup last season and is a club on its way up, so the best way to prove it is by being even more competitive in the 2018-19 EuroCup.
Two-time competition champion Rytas Vilnius enters every season with a mindset to compete for more EuroCup glory. With new head coach Dainius Adomaitis in charge, the club from the Lithuanian capital will use its proven formula of mixing a local talent with proven veterans to reach big goals. With traditionally one of the toughest home courts in all of the EuroCup, and a rooted style of basketball, Rytas will attempt to make more noise this season.
FRAPORT SKYLINERS FRANKFURT
After seven years away, Skyliners return to face the challenges of the EuroCup. The Skyliners will try to change their EuroCup fortunes, as the club has yet to get past its regular season group in its previous five appearances. Moreover, Skyliners’s first goal might be to snap its 26-game losing streak in the competition, one that dates back to November 2005. However, the club’s ambitions will go well beyond that as it has proven to be competitive and contended for titles in many different competitions in recent years.
The freshly-crowned Montenegrin champion had a historic season, full of first-ever achievements. Mornar has earned its premier EuroCup berth by reaching the Adriatic League semifinals, but it did not stop there. Mornar went on defeat Buducnost VOLI Podgorica to win club’s first Montenegro League title. With veteran coach Mihail Pavicevic at the helm, Mornar plans to continue its rise and make the most of out its biggest challenge yet – competing in the EuroCup against some of Europe’s best teams.