Regular Season, Round 1: Curtains up!
The wait is over. The 2021-22 Turkish Airlines EuroLeague season is set to start with 18 teams fighting for the continental crown. To get there, the eventual champion must first survive the regular season – a round-robin, 34-game group stage. The best eight teams will advance to the EuroLeague Playoffs, where the battles will be even harder. Fans will be back in the stands, which makes everything better! The regular season begins earlier than ever with four games on Thursday, September 30, followed by five more on Friday, October 1. Welcome back, EuroLeague fans!
AS Monaco vs. Panathinaikos OPAP Athens
AS Monaco makes its EuroLeague debut against one of the powerhouses in the competition, six-time champion Panathinaikos OPAP Athens. Monaco won the 7DAYS EuroCup title last season and improved its roster with experienced players such as Will Thomas, Danilo Andjusic, Donatas Motiejunas and Mike James, who plays against his former team. Panathinaikos kept a core of stars and added a new coach, Dimitris Priftis, and athletic players such as Kendrick Perry, Jeremy Evans and Okaro White.
Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv vs. FC Bayern Munich
Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv made a lot of roster changes to try to be even more competitive. Two of its major frontcourt signings, Derrick Williams and Jalen Reynolds, played for FC Bayern Munich in the past. Bayern starts the 2021-22 EuroLeague season with a lot of new faces, too, such as Darrun Hilliard, Augustine Rubit and a couple of former Maccabi players, Othello Hunter and DeShaun Thomas. Expect thousands of Maccabi fans to try to push their team higher and higher at Menora Mivtachim Arena - where Bayern won for the first time last season.
AX Armani Exchange Milan vs. CSKA Moscow
A high-profile game by all means - both teams made it to the EuroLeague Final Four last season. AX Armani Exchange Milan signed Dinos Mitoglou, Nicolo Melli, Devon Hall and Giampaolo Ricci, among others, to improve a roster that already included former CSKA Moscow superstars, Kyle Hines and Sergio Rodriguez, as well as Ettore Messina, who won two of his four EuroLeague titles with the Russian powerhouse. CSKA's main additions are Alexey Shved and Marius Grigonis. Nikola Milutinov set a EuroLeague record with 16 offensive rebounds in Milan last season.
Real Madrid vs. Anadolu Efes Istanbul
This game is a rematch of an outstanding playoffs series last season that truly went down to the wire. It will be Anadolu Efes Istanbul's first-ever EuroLeague game as reigning champion. Efes managed to keep nearly all of its main players - including Vasilije Micic, Shane Larkin, Krunoslav Simon, Bryant Dunston, Adrien Moerman - and only added one player: center Filip Petrusev. Real Madrid is back with new faces such as Thomas Heurtel, Adam Hanga, Nigel Williams-Goss and Guerschon Yabusele. High intensity and outstanding basketball are guaranteed with Real and Efes meeting on a basketball court.
UNICS Kazan vs. Zenit St Petersburg
UNICS Kazan and Zenit St Petersburg have faced each other dozens of times, but this is their first-ever EuroLeague showdown. Zenit added talented players like Conner Frankamp, Mindaugas Kuzminskas, Jordan Loyd and Jordan Mickey, making Coach Xavi Pascual's team even more competitive. UNICS brought in a new coach, Velimir Perasovic, elite scorers O.J. Mayo and Mario Hezonja, and experienced players such as Lorenzo Brown, Tonye Jekiri and Andrey Vorontsevich. It should be a physical, intense game at Basket Hall Kazan.
Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul vs. Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade
Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul landed head coach Sasa Djordjevic and brought in some experienced players such as Devin Booker, Achille Polonara and Pierria Henry, who should help its main leaders, Nando De Colo and Jan Vesely. Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade underwent a lot of roster changes. Its main addition is forward Nikola Kalinic, who won the EuroLeague title with Fenerbahce in 2017. Nikola Ivanovic, Austin Hollins, Nate Wolters and Luka Mitrovic should make Zvezda even more competitive. Fenerbahce fans should be back to Ulker Sports Arena to generate a unique atmosphere.
LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne vs. Zalgiris Kaunas
LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne put together an athletic, physical squad that promises to be fun to watch with newcomers Elie Okobo, Kostas Antetokounmpo, Chris Jones, Youssoupha Fall and Victor Wembanyama, one of the biggest basketball prospects worldwide. Zalgiris Kaunas signed playmaker Emmanuel Mudiay and athletic big man Josh Nebo, but also brought back homegrown talents Edgaras Ulanovas and Mantas Kalnietis and added Niels Giffry and Tyler Cavanaugh to have an even deeper roster. Expect an interesting showdown at the Astroballe.
Olympiacos Piraeus vs. Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz
A classic rivalry in the competition, Olympiacos and Baskonia are set to face each other for the 43rd time since the turn of the century. Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz has a revamped roster with Wade Baldwin IV, Simone Fontecchio, Matt Costello, Landry Nnoko and Jayson Granger joining over the summers. Olympiacos has a new team captain, Georgios Printezis, and signed Thomas Walkup, Tyler Dorsey and Moustapha Fall to complement Kostas Sloukas, Sasha Vezenkov and Kostas Papanikolaou.
FC Barcelona vs. ALBA Berlin
ALBA Berlin starts a new era with head coach Israel Gonzalez, who replaced the legendary Aito Garcia Reneses. ALBA did not change its roster much, but added interesting players such as Yovel Zoosman, Jaleel Smith and Tamir Blatt. Barcelona, which reached the championship game last season, kept its core of players intact with Nikola Mirotic, Nick Calathes, Brandon Davies, Cory Higgins and added four newcomers with valuable EuroLeague experience: reigning champ Sertac Sanli, Rokas Jokubaitis, Nico Laprovittola and Nigel Hayes-Davis.
Click on your favorite teams below to see all 34 games that each will play in the regular season!