Turkish Airlines Euroleague
June 18, 2013
bwin Euroleague Fantasy Challenge
Tel Aviv 2004
Qualifying Rounds 2012
NIKE International Junior Tournament
Euroleague, Eurocup stars bid for Olympic berths
The final three tickets to the 2012 Men’s Olympic Basketball Tournament are to be decided this week in Venezuela, where 12 teams will battle for three remaining berths at the London games. Those teams are chocked full of Turkish Airlines Euroleague and Eurocup players, including many reigning champs. All told, 26 players that finished the 2011-12 season on Euroleague rosters and nine more that did so on Eurocup rosters are with their respective national teams in Venezuela and gunning for glory.
The 12 teams are Greece, Puerto Rico and Jordan in Group A; Nigeria, Lithuania and Venezuela in Group B; Russia, South Korea and the Dominican Republic in Group C; and Angola, New Zealand and the Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) in Group D. The teams will compete twice in the group stage between Monday, July 2 and Wednesday July 4, after which the top two in each group advance to the win-or-go-home quarterfinals on Friday, July 6. The winners of the semifinals on July 7 will secure their spot at the 2012 Olympic Games, while the losing teams will meet Sunday, July 8 for the third and final ticket. The three teams that advance will join Argentina, Australia, Brazil, China, France, Great Britain, Spain, Tunisia and the United States of America in London.
Team Greece has the richest Euroleague contingent, with 11 of its 12 players having competed in the continent’s premier competition last season, including four from reigning champion Olympiacos: Final Four MVP Vassilis Spanoulis, author of the championship basket Georgios Printezis, Kostas Papanikolaou and Evangelos Mantzaris. Moreover, between Nick Calathes, Kostas Kaimakoglou and Antonis Fotsis, who won the Euroleague with Panathinaikos in 2011, Greece has seven Euroleague champs on its roster.
Team Russia is loaded with five players that represented CSKA Moscow in the 2012 Euroleague title game. 2012 Euroleague MVP Andrei Kirilenko is joined by Viktor Khryapa, Sasha Kaun, Alexey Shved and Eugeny Voronov on both teams. In addition, Russia features a trio Eurocup champions, Vitaliy Fridzon, Sergey Monya and Dmitriy Khvostov from BC Khimki Moscow Region.
Team Lithuania features eight players from last season’s Euroleague and Eurocup, plus three more with previous experience in the competitions. Four-time Euroleague winner Sarunas Jasikevicius and 2012 All-Eurocup selection Jonas Valanciunas are among Lithuania’s most recognizable faces. Zalgiris features the most players on the Lithuanian team with four.
FYROM boasts another new Euroleague champ from Olympiacos in Pero Antic as well as All-Euroleague Second Team point guard Bo McCalebb.
Monday, July 02, 2012
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