26 September, 2016
30 April, 2017
8 Janar Talts (EST)
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Tuesday Focus: Week 1

MUNICH (FIBA Europe Cup) – After a long summer and what seems to be even longer final weeks leading up to the culmination, FIBA Europe Cup action returns for its second season. After an exciting and unpredictable maiden campaign, there is more of the same in store for basketball fans around Europe.

Six teams will do the honours of opening the season on the very first day of action on Tuesday, with Egis Kormend (HUN), BC Tartu (EST) and Lukoil Academic (BUL) serving as hosts for the first batch of contests.

Like last season, each and every game of the FIBA Europe Cup will be streamed LIVE on youtube.com/FIBA – make sure you tune in!

Kormend vs Limburg United | 18:00 CET
Kormend will hand competition debutantes Limburg United (BEL) their very first taste of the FIBA Europe Cup. Whether it will be sweet or sour remains an open-ended question and will to a large degree be dependent on the hospitality of the Hungarian hosts.

Despite being knocked out already in the Regular Season last year, Kormend actually won two of the three of its home games, which should set off all sorts alarms for the Limburg club.

Testing international waters for the first time, the Belgian side is in many ways entering the unknown. However, the steady hand of Brian Lynch has already demonstrated that authority is conditional over the club’s first two seasons in the Belgian Basketball League.

Lanzelle Smith had a stellar debut for Kormend in the Hungarian Division A, scoring 19 points, grabbing 9 rebounds and dishing out 4 assists and could be the main man to watch on the home side’s roster.

Meanwhile, Limburg United forward Seth Tuttle has been providing a healthy contribution all over the stat sheet for his side, averaging 13 points, 7.2 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game in the domestic championship.

BC Tartu vs Redwell Gunners Oberwart | 18:00 CET
Redwell Gunners Oberwart (AUT) turned some heads with an unexpected triumph in the Austrian Bundesliga last season and will attempt to pull off a similar, yet smaller in scale, upset on the road against BC Tartu.

However, the home side will have had more time to mesh together by virtue of playing in the Basketball Champions League (BCL) Qualification Rounds and this will undoubtedly be an important factor in the FIBA Europe Cup season-opener.

In addition to that, Tartu also got a big confidence boost from a dramatic one-point victory against defending Estonian champions Kalev/Cramo over the weekend.

Cedric Kuakumensah, who put up 15.5 points, 8 rebounds and 1.5 blocks averages in the first two games of the season in Austria, will need to have a big game for the Oberwart club to entertain the idea of returning home with a win.

On the other side of the barricades, Lithuanian big man Dominykas Milka has been unstoppable early in the season for Tartu and is averaging a double-double of 16 points and 11.5 rebounds per game in the Estonian KML.

Lukoil Academic vs Bnei Herzliya | 18:30 CET
The final game of the opening day of action in FIBA Europe Cup has excitement and high-level basketball written all over it, as the historic Lukoil Academic club takes on a high-flying Bnei Herzliya (ISR) side that is bound to make some noise in Group F.

Having lost both of its games in the BCL qualifiers, Academic will be happy to start all over again with a clean slate, but there will be some extra pressure to win the season-opener. A game so early in the year might not make-or-break a season, but losing home games is definitely not in the formula for qualifying for the Round of 32.

Ukrainian big man Maxym Korniyenko was the stand-out player for Academic in the BCL qualifiers, averaging 14.5 points, 7 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game, but two of the key American names on the roster, Steve Zack and Danny Gibson, are yet to find their rhythm.

After splitting the first two games in the Israeli Winner BSL league, Bnei Herzliya will count on Taurean Green and Jeff Adrien for most of scoring, but one advantage they might have heading into the game is the well-rounded contributions from across the starting unit, making it hard to circle out any single player.