Unics Kazan comes off a great season that saw the team come within one result the Eurocup crown. This season the club has a chance to do even more through the Turkish Airlines Euroleague qualifying rounds. Unics certainly won’t lack for experience after appointing Argiris Pedoulakis as head coach and bringing in the backcourt duo of Alphonso Ford Top Scorer Trophy winner Keith Langford and Curtis Jerrells. The sky is the limit!
STELMET ZIELONA GORA
Coming off a historic season in which it got its first taste of the Turkish Airlines Euroleague, Stelmet Zielona Gora is eager for more. The club enters the qualifying rounds hoping to return to a place among Europe’s best. Andrzej Adamek has been promoted from assistant to head coach to lead the way as Zielona Gora tries to take the next step towards establishing itself as a force both in Poland and abroad.
Hapoel Jerusalem enters a new era this season with the opening of the Jerusalem Arena and a chance to reach the Turkish Airlines Euroleague via the qualifying rounds. New coach Danny Franco inherits a deep squad with lofty goals and expectations. Israeli League MVP Donta Smith was Jerusalem’s first signing of the summer and the club will be happy to add more as it looks for its first season in its new home to be one to remember.
CEZ BASKETBALL NYMBURK
No team has dominated its domestic competition in recent years the way CEZ Basketball Nymburk has in the Czech Republic. This year the club hopes will be the season that dominance translates into a spot in the Turkish Airlines Euroleague. Nymburk has already penned deals with Darius Washington and Derek Raivio to ensure a dynamic backcourt. If all goes well and the guards jell well with the returning core of players, it could be a special year for Czech basketball.
ASVEL LYON VILLEURBANNE
A classic team in European competition, ASVEL Lyon Villeurbanne will look to reclaim its place among the European elite this season as it enters the Turkish Airlines Euroleague Qualifying Rounds. Point guard Taurean Green has already signed up for the challenge to lead this promising squad. With an organized front office backed by young talent, a great fan base and tradition, Asvel could back on the top floor in no time.
Telenet Ostend showed itself to be a rising force in continental basketball last season and now looks to reach the highest level. Ostend almost got there last year after knocking off favored Khimki and Banvit in the first games and leading host Lietuvos Rytas at halftime of the qualifying rounds finale, but ultimately fell short. With domestic dominance under its belt as well as experience in European competition, Coach Dario Gjergja’s men now target a long-awaited Euroleague ticket.
VEF Riga’s run of three straight Latvian League crowns came to an end last season, but the club is motivated to bounce right back and, through its third appearance in the Turkish Airlines Euroleague Qualifying Rounds, advance to its first ever Euroleague regular season. Guard Kevin Dillard has already been announced as one of the team’s reinforcements for the coming season and more are on the way as Riga aims high.
Strasbourg targets its second trip to Europe’s premier competition in as many years when it steps up to the Turkish Airlines Euroleague Qualifying Rounds. Last season the club returned to the Euroleague after a seven-year absence. With a healthy Antoine Diot leading the way and new signing Matt Howard helping out inside, Strasbourg could be on the right track to establish its place among the elite of continental basketball.
ASVEL Lyon Villeurbanne president, Tony Parker
“We are going to play Ostend, I am born in Belgium, so the story is pretty nice. It is going to be a great game, they are hosting the tournament so it will be a great atmosphere. We are going to try to qualify, but it will be a tough competition. Obviously, Unics and Hapoel Jerusalem are very tough, and it is good for us we avoid them until the final, if we get there. It is a very exciting moment for us.