June 27, 2017
FIBA announced the participants for EuroLeague and EuroCup for the upcoming season on Tuesday. As was the case last season, there were more applicants than available spots, meaning that qualifying games will be scheduled. Teams will find out the groups for each competition next week when the draw is conducted.
18 teams applied for the 16 EuroLeague places. The teams that will definitely be in the competition include the usual trio of Russian teams, defending champions Dynamo Kursk as well as UMMC Ekaterinburg and Nadezhda Orenburg. Galatasaray’s strong regular season in Turkey gave them the chance to earn back their spot, joining Fenerbahce and domestic and EuroCup winners Yakin Dogu University. The extra teams mean that only Villeneuve and Bourges qualify directly from France. 6 countries earned an automatic spot with some traditional powers returning as Avenida represents Spain, Schio represents Italy, Sopron represents Hungary, Wisla represents Poland, and ZVVZ USK Prague represents the Czech Republic. Castors Braine returns to represent Belgium.
The remaining 2 spots have already had their qualifying format determined. Lattes Montpellier of France will look to increase French representation, but they will have an interesting series against an Atomeromu team that impressed in Hungary. Polkowice also looks to return, but the Polish team will have to navigate past a real upstart as Piestanske Cajky is the surprise new entry from Slovakia. Qualifiers will be played in a home and home format with the team mentioned first hosting the second game. The losing teams will drop down to EuroCup for their regular season. In the past, some qualifiers have been cancelled due to teams pulling out, so it will remain to be seen whether these high stakes games will be played. [Read more…]