The 2012 Turkish Airlines Euroleague Qualifying Rounds were presented Thursday afternoon at a media conference in Desio, Italy, attended by local dignitaries, Pallacanestro Cantu officials and Euroleague basketball representatives. The Turkish Airlines Euroleague Qualifying Rounds are scheduled to take place from September 25 through 28 at PalaDesio, with eight teams playing single-elimination games until one survives. That winner will earn the last of the 24 Euroleague regular season berths for the 2012-13 season, while the other seven teams will directly enter the Eurocup regular season. Tickets for the games will be available for purchase starting September 3 at www.pallacanestrocantu.com.
The press conference was attended by Pallacanestro Cantu President Anna Cremascoli; Pallacanestro Cantu CEO Luca Orthmann; Mayor of Desio, Roberto Corti; Euroleague Basketball Chief TV and New Media Rights Officer, Andrea Bassani; and Member of the Desio local government, Paolo Smorta.
"I'm very satisfied to organize the Qualifying Round here in Desio," Ms. Cremascoli said at the media conference. "Euroleague Basketball proposed it to us and we accepted immediately. Eight teams from eight different nations will challenge here to get the spot in the next Euroleague regular season. Our goal is to have all our fans here at PalaDesio to help us to reach a big goal, the Euroleague regular season. We would like to be back on the main European stage and we know it will be complicated, because we'll face big teams, and for this reason we're asking all our fans to support us like they did last season. I would like to thank the Mayor of Desio, Mr. Roberto Corti, and the Municipality of Desio for their cooperation to organize this event."
The first games of the Qualifying Rounds will feature the following four matchups: Unics Kazan of Russia vs. Ratiopharm Ulm of Germany, Le Mans Sarthe Basket of France vs. BC Donetsk of Ukraine, CEZ Basketball Nymburk of the Czech Republic vs. Telenet Oostende of Belgium and host Pallacanestro Cantu of Italy vs. PBC Lukoil Academic of Bulgaria. The four winners of the first round will then meet in semifinals, and the winners of the semis will face off in the final, to be played on Friday September 28, for a spot in the Turkish Airlines Euroleague regular season.
Quotes from the media conference
Andrea Bassani, Euroleague Basketball:
"Thanks to the Mayor, to the city of Desio, to all the staff of Pallacanestro Cantu. We called Cantu because they showed last season that they worked very well, with great professionalism and determination. The Qualifying Rounds are a very important phase in the competition; we had two different groups last season, but we decided to reduce the number of the teams to just eight, to build the most important event of the pre-season with the taste of the Euroleague. It will be a great competition because all those teams are signing big players and it will be a big event for sure."
Roberto Corti, Mayor of Desio:
"We're very happy that the cooperation between the city of Desio and Pallacanestro Cantu will continue also this season. I hope the next season will be full of satisfaction for the team. Looking at the sold out stands convinced us to support this event in an important structure like PalaDesio, an important event with a big impact for the city of Desio and all the Brianza area. We anticipate a great basketball happening with the stands full of fans and a big spectacle."
Paolo Smorta, Member of the Desio local government:
"PalaDesio will continue to host European and Italian basketball at the top level, and we're proud to offer to all the basketball fans of Desio a great event."