Turkish Airlines EuroLeague
Adidas Next Generation Tournament
Post-draw analysis, comments: Group C
Oct 05, 2013
Valencia Basket Club
A two-time Eurocup champion, Valencia Basket Club has all it takes to be considered a top candidate to win the competition. Valencia landed small forwards Vladimir Lucic and Romain Sato, playmakers Oliver Lafayette and Sam Van Rossom, as well as big men Pablo Aguilar and Juanjo Triguero. Former All-Eurocup selections Justin Doellman and Bojan Dubljevic, team captain Rafa Martinez and former champs Serhiy Lishchuk and Pau Ribas round out a great team.
Union Olimpija Ljubljana
After a long and often successful reign as a Euroleague regular, Union Olimpija will play the Eurocup for the first time this season. Coach Ales Pipan brings a strong and deep roster to the competition, with guys like Alen Omic, Sasu Salin, Dino Muric and young Luka Rupnik returning, while veteran Dragisa Drobnjak comes back after years away. Guard Cedric Jackson and rebounder Alex Stephenson will try to help Olimpija reach the next level.
Former five-time continental champion has high hopes after being back in Eurocup after 9 years. Cimberio Varese landed point guard Keydren Clark to score and set the tempo for this team, while a double-double machine Frank Hassell was added to the paint helping to win every rebounding battle. Guard Ebi Ere and up-and-coming forward Achille Polonara will provide plenty of scoring, and mismatch headaches for opposing teams.
Avel Villeurbanne Lyon
A former Euroleague champion, Marko Keselj, will play at Astroballe this season bringing his excellent touch from beyond the arc to Asvel. To rising star Edwin Jackson, who put up 16.1 points per game last year in the French League, Asvel added to the backcourt talent with point guards Chris Wright, who likes to dish assists, and scoring ace Travis Leslie, a specialist in going to the rim.
Ulm reached the quarterfinals in its Eurocup debut last season and after adding some more talent in the offseason, Coach Thorsten Leibenath will aim for another deep run. Edgar Sosa joined Per Guenther and Tommy Mason-Griffin at point guard; Cam Long, Will Clyburn and Adam Hess team up with Philipp Schwethelm on the wings, while Daniel Theis and Keaton Nankivil welcome Trent Plaisted and Matt Howard inside. All told, this is a deep team.
The French capital will take its Eurocup bow with Paris Levallois making its competition debut. The club has some recognizable names on its roster, including Euroleague veterans Daniel Ewing, Sean May and Maleye Ndoye. Point guard Andrew Albicy will be a major key to the team’s fortunes, while forward Aloysius Anagonye, Jawad Williams and Nicolas Lang are other players expected to play significant roles.
Cimberio Varese sports and organization executive Mario Oioli:
"It is going to be tough. Valencia Basket and Union Olimpija Ljubljana are teams that are used to play in the Euroleague. I think it is going to be a very competitive group. I know that Ulm, Asvel and Paris Levallois will be tough opponents, too. We are very excited to go back to European competitions after a few years. Of course, we will fight and do our best to advance to the Last 32."
Union Olimpija Ljubljana general manager Matevz Zupancic:
"It is the first Eurocup draw for Olimpija and we've got some big names with a lot of tradition in our regular season group. We are really happy with the outcome. We have to see how strong they are and above all, how strong we can be, as this season started quite late, but we are happy with our group. It is a new challenge for us and are not afraid of it. We don't feel degraded or something to be out of the Euroleague. The Eurocup, at this moment, we think it is our right level of competition. Sometimes you have to take a step back to move two steps forward."
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