With just one more game day to play in the preliminary round of this years Euroleague, we already know most of the teams that did not make it. With Prokom Trefl Sopot (Poland), Virtus Vidivici Bologna (Italy), Zagreb Cibona (Croatia), Armani Jeans Milano (Italy),Le Mans (France), Partizan Ikogea Belgrade (Serbia), Chorale Roanne (France) and Brose Baskets Bamberg (Germany) most of them are not only struggling in the Euroleague but also their domestic league.
Partizan, Cibona and Olimpija are all playing in the Adriatic league with only Partizan being successful (17-2), while Cibona and Olimpija are 10 and 9.
If you need an indication for the strengh of the Polsh league, just know that this year’s “Euroleague joke” Prokom is on top of the league with 11 and 2. So far only Anwil Wloclawek can compete with Prokom and is tied for the lead.
Another country that has two teams eliminated of the Euroleague is Italy. I remember talking to an Italian journalist at the NBA Europe live event telling me that Lottomatica Roma is not good enough this year and Vidivici Bologna will be the strongest team in the Euroleague and in Italy. Now Roma reached the Top16 and is 3rd in the Italian league while Bologna is out and with a record of 8 and 12, 14th of the Italian league. Armani Jeans Milano is also struggling with 9-11 in Italy while NBA prospect Danilo Gallinari can’t carry the whole team by himself. But who cares in Italy – they get another NBA player. (please understand the irony in that statement).
With Marc Salyers, Chorale Roanne might have the leading scorer of the Euroleague and with Adam Hess a fellow blogger, but that did not take them to the Euroleague Top16. In France they are tied for third place with Le Mans (10-5) which only won one! Euroleague game this season. Looks like France is also not the best place to be, if you are looking for a good domestic league.
Last to mention is Bamberg, Germany. They are used to be mentioned at the end all the time. In any power ranking, they were ranked last or second last place of the Euroleague and to be in group C with Panathinaikos, Real Madrid and FC Barcelona did not help either. In Germany they are only 5th of the league with 10 wins and 5 losses. The sad thing is that Bamberg has almost every national team player on its roster besides Dirk Nowitzki and still can’t pull off more than two wins in Europe. We all know that Germany isn’t the best league either, but you want to expect that they are ruling Germany at least. Well they don’t and if you want to think now that the coach might do something wrong – stop right there – Dirk Bauermann is the man in Germany does not want ANY critisim! Oh boy …
After next weeks’ games one more team will make it to the top16. It is more than likely that Partizan will take that spot and still make it to the next round.
If you feel like Europe is pretty bad after reading this article – lets look forward to an exciting Top16 round of the Euroleague which will start February 13th.