Euroleague Power Rankings: 2012-13 Opening Day Edition

All right, it’s that time again! With hours to go before the 2012-13 Euroleague season tips off, BallinEurope breaks out its first power ratings for the big league.

Whereas normally a disclaimer to the effect of “the following ratings are based on current trending only and are not necessarily based on the overall quality of the teams” runs here, this year BiE’s switching things up a bit. To wit: For this edition of Euroleague power rankings, the teams *will* be run based on BallinEurope’s totally subjective viewpoint. (Mainly because BiE couldn’t figure out what to do with Barcelona…)

Get your arguments ready and read on for this season’s first power rankings, with Official BallinEurope Fearless Predictions™ for the upcoming season peppered throughout. Enjoy the games!

The favorites
1. Olympiacos Piraeus. The usual reserved spot for the defending champion comes with some justification this year, as Vassilis Spanoulis & Co. show no signs of letting up on their 2011-12 season-ending 22-4 run. In the off-/preseason, Olympiacos’ foursome of Spanoulis, local hero Georgios Printezis, Kostas Papanikolaou and Evengelos Mantazaris suited up for a disappointed Team Greece – all but Mantazaris acquitted themselves nicely, with 50-of-89 (56.2%) overall shooting and Spanoulis dishing out just under six assists per game in three Olympic qualifiers.

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Underdogs France, Bosnia & Herzegovina draw first blood (Hungary wins, too)

Mia mia Hungaria!

Mia mia Hungaria!

In last night’s EuroBasket 2009 additional qualifying round games, favorites Italy and Portugal fell victim to upsets to immediately throw a handy spanner in the AQR works. It was Bosnia & Herzegovina 62, Portugal 56 in the Group A game (told ya Portugal was ripe for an upset – call it The Curse of Cape Verde). In Group B, France overcame Italy 80-77 in overtime.

Meanwhile, in the BallinEurope home office in Budapest, the FIBA relegation round game between Team Hungary and Team Ukraine was on the TV. Clearly avid readers of Ball in Europe, the Magyars apparently took offense at this writer’s backhanded slap vis-a-vis the near-win against France last week and the current state of Hungarian hoops to demolish the haggard-looking Ukrainians, 91-67, before a quite pleased home crowd.

After shooting an even 50% from the floor in the first half despite going 1-for-9 beyond the arc, Hungary put on a show in the third quarter, burying seemingly from everywhere and outscoring Ukraine, 18-5.

Particularly impressive was István Németh, who stomped the Ukrainians with 21 points and some nifty passing as well.

Official Euroleague and FIBA roundups follow. Of the Eurobasket AQR games, i mean.

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