At a glance: Regular Season Group A

Jul 13, 2020 by Eurocupbasketball.com Print
At a glance: Regular Season Group A

Group A of the 7DAYS EuroCup Regular Season has a fine mix of old and new with two former champs – and two former EuroLeague champs – as well as two newcomers to the competition. The group also features three quarterfinalists from last season: UNICS Kazan, Partizan NIS Belgrade and Umana Reyer Venice; the first two of those three were scheduled to meet in those quarterfinals before the season was called off due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Kazan and Joventut Badalona have both taken home the EuroCup trophy before, while Partizan and Joventut have EuroLeague trophies in their cupboards. Partizan and Reyer also took home silverware last season by winning their respective national cups. Bahcesehir Koleji Istanbul and JL Bourg will make their EuroCup debuts in Group A and will now have strong measuring sticks to test themselves against in their premier season in the competition.

UNICS Kazan

UNICS Kazan's 146 victories are the second-most in EuroCup history and only eight behind Valencia Basket for the record. The club has surpassed that number in each of the past three seasons while getting to the quarterfinals at a minimum each time. UNICS has been as far as the semifinals five times and won it all in 2011. Little has changed as far as ambition and UNICS will be gunning for glory again when the 2020-21 season begins.

Joventut Badalona

The top-scoring team in the EuroCup last season, Joventut Badalona returned to the competition after a decade away and posted a perfect record in home games. However, the club was winless on the road and that cost it a spot in the quarterfinals. Joventut has been busy already in the offseason, retooling its lineup with some familiar faces in the backcourt as the 2008 champs look to make some noise in the competition once again.

Partizan NIS Belgrade

Partizan was on its way to what could have been a historic season in the EuroCup last season as it entered the elimination rounds with home-court advantage for as long as it lasted. Its 5-1 record in the Top 16 was the best in the competition and its 12-4 record was tied for the best all season. Partizan brings back many of the heroes from last season to make an all-out charge at bringing home its first European trophy since it won the EuroLeague in 1992.

Umana Reyer Venice

No team comes into the new season quite like Umana Reyer Venice, which led by Coach Walter De Raffaele has re-signed 10 players from last year's squad. Reyer has won a trophy in each of the last three seasons – it was the Italian Cup in 2020 – and had qualified for the EuroCup Quarterfinals last season before the season came to a close. Even though this season will be just its third in the EuroCup, Reyer is a rising power and a force to be reckoned with this season.

Bahcesehir Koleji Istanbul

Bahcesehir Koleji Istanbul dipped its toes into the continental basketball waters last season in the FIBA Europe Cup and can only be pleased with the results. After reaching the playoffs, Bahcesehir swept Ventspils of Latvia in the quarterfinals before the COVID-19 pandemic cost it a chance to play for the title. Now Bahcesehir will step its game up for its EuroCup debut and the early returns – six new signings before the draw, including three with EuroLeague experience – are promising.

JL Bourg

Coming off it’s the best season in club history, JL Bourg prepares to take another step forward as a club by competing in the EuroCup. It will be the first international competition for Bourg, which as recently as the 2016-17 season was played in the French second division. Bourg was ranked fifth in the French League when the 2019-20 season came to an end and the club from the east of France targets strong finishes on all fronts this season.