01 October, 2019
29 April, 2020
FIBA Europe Cup Power Rankings: Volume 3
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FIBA Europe Cup Power Rankings: Volume 3

MUNICH (Germany) - FIBA Europe Cup action is in full swing, which also means that our Power Rankings are here to stay, too. We will be checking up on our 32 teams every two weeks, continuing with our third edition.


Four defeats in four games, -113. Not the best of seasons for Apoel Nicosia.


Meet the Almost Champs of the FIBA Europe Cup! CSU Sibiu almost defeated CSU CSM Oradea in week 1, losing in OT. Then they almost defeated Fribourg Olympic, after being down 12 at half. Then they almost defeated Bahcesehir College, losing 83-81 at home. Then they almost defeated Oradea again, but not even a 28-5 second quarter could end the rot. Almost. Almost won all four games. Yet, they find themselves at 0-4.


Kapfenberg Bulls are also winless. But at least they can say they lost three games instead of four, since their last week's game against Ironi Ness Ziona is yet to take place.


It looked so promising for Fribourg Olympic two weeks ago, when they were coming off of a win away at Sibiu and had a game at home against Oradea coming up. But they missed a huge chance there, losing by 19 and then falling to the hands of Bahcesehir College a week later, tumbling to 1-3 in a hurry.


Just don't mention the name Inter Bratislava around PVSK-Veolia and you're good.


Losing at home is a big no-no in this competition. Phoenix Brussels finish the first part of Group Phase with one OT win and two defeats at home, and are in for a bumpy road the rest of the way as they travel to Donar Groningen and Pinar Karsiyaka.


Balkan are 2-4 over their last six games in all competitions, which isn't THAT bad when you consider that five of those six were on the road. But it's still that bad because they dropped to 1-3 here with a Top 10 team Cluj coming to town on Wednesday...


Kataja are 1-5 over their last six games in all competitions. So, in theory, they could've been 26 instead of Balkan...


Sodertalje are just unlucky to be in the same group as Enisey Krasnoyarsk and U-BT Cluj Napoca, that's all.


The fact that Legia Warszawa are down at 1-3 isn't as bad as their remaining schedule. Because they only defeated Kataja this season, and they are all out of Kataja up next in their calendar, so they have to defeat both Egis Kormend and Bakken Bears to have a chance of reaching the next round.


Be warned. Dnipro won five of their last six games, so they could be on a late charge towards the Second Round, especially because both of their remaining games are at home, first up against Tsmoki-Minsk, then followed by Lukoil - Levski with no games in between.


Take this 21 with a grain of salt, because Donar Groningen did come up with a big one last week. In fact, that 13-4 last quarter away from home could be what ignites them towards another win or two and another trip to the next round of the FIBA Europe Cup.


Good news for Keravnos? They are 2-2.
Bad news for Keravnos? So are Zwolle, who do own the tiebreaker in case of a tie. And with Ironi Ness Ziona still unbeaten, a tie between Zwolle and Keravnos is very much so a possibility.


Spirou Basket were up in the Top 10 because of their win over Pinar Karsiyaka. But the trouble of beating such a strong team is that they are waiting for a chance to hit you back with a vengeance. That's written all over Spirou's 92-54 defeat to Karsiyaka a week ago. But still, they are in a good position to advance from that group.


Kyiv Basket were 7th two weeks ago, but that was when they were still perfect, at 2-0, riding a five game winning streak in all competitions. Right about the time when we hit "publish" on the previous Power Rankings, a slump started for Kyiv, who lost three in a row, putting their passage to the next phase in jeopardy.


Life is all about luck. Just ask Inter Bratislava. At -20, they really should be out of contention for anything, but they do have two wins in four games because they defeated PVSK-Veolia by a single point...TWICE. And if luck is on your side, you really could go deep in a competition like this one.


Here's one for you: Which ZZ Leiden will show up this week? The one that defeated the previously unbeaten Benfica by 16? Or the one that lost to previously winless PVSK-Veolia by 10? Whatever happens, you can expect Braxton Huggins to put up a bunch of three-pointers - and make them - because he knocked down 20 of them so far, the most of all players, including the Qualifiers.


Grass is green, water is wet, Dardan Berisha is the leading scorer of the FIBA Europe Cup, averaging 27.7 points per game for Sigal Prishtina... Same old, same old.


And speaking of Berisha, medi Bayreuth have a mission to keep him quiet this week. Bayreuth are defending an 8-point advantage from their first matchup, keep an eye on that one too.


Out of nowhere, Levski - Lukoil went from 0-2 to 2-2! We love those kind of turnarounds, that's why they jumped from 27 all the way to 13 in just two weeks. Keep up the tempo and you'll get to Top 3 in two weeks' time!


The best name of the competition, Landstede Hammers Zwolle have almost hammered their name into the Second Round with the tiebreaker over Keravnos. Also, they've got six wins in their last seven games, so yes, they are officially on fire!


That defeat to Leiden was only the fourth of the season for SL Benfica, in 15 games played across all the events that Benfica decided to dominate this season. And at 11-4 all season long, it feels like they are dominating. But still, not dominant enough to climb into the Top 10 here.


Still not sounding the alarm, but three defeats in a row in the VTB League and the FIBA Europe Cup are reason enough to move Tsmoki-Minsk from #6 to #10. Crucial game coming up for them away at Dnipro, they are protecting a 7-point lead from the first date.


We just want to see Egis Kormend and Bakken Bears battle for the top of this group forever, after their six-point wins which were 80-86 and 81-87, so yeah, this is as close as it gets when it comes to two teams in the same competition.


We just want to see Egis Kormend and Bakken Bears battle for the top of this group forever, after their six-point wins which were 80-86 and 81-87, so yeah, this is as close as it gets when it comes to two teams in the same competition.


Trae Golden's stats in four games so far: 17 points and 7 assists; 24 and 10; 15 and 13; 24 and 9. He's leading the FIBA Europe Cup in assists per game, dishing out 9.8 of those every time he's on the floor, taking Bahcesehir College to 3-1 so far.


Unbeaten no more - but still, U-BT Cluj Napoca's season is textbook. Because they are 11-1 so far in all competitions, so a drop of two places in the Power Rankings since the last time we posted this is nothing to be wary of. They'll go all the way to number one once they defeat Balkan and Enisey.


Two weeks ago, we placed Enisey Krasnoyarsk at 12. It probably gave them some motivation, because their response consisted of two comfy wins with 99 and 97 points, proving they have a lot of offensive firepower. In fact, Enisey scored 80 or more in every single game they played in the VTB League and the FIBA Europe Cup this season. Curious to find out where that run will end.


Ventspils lost a game...but not in the FIBA Europe Cup. They dropped one to the hands of their arch rivals VEF Riga in the Latvian-Estonian League, stopping their winning run at 10 games. Amazing. But just not amazing enough to keep the lead they took two weeks ago.


Ironi Ness Ziona stayed undefeated, as their game against Kapfenberg Bulls was postponed and them looking at all the other games last week like this: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯


You know that song that goes "At least we stole the show" by Kygo? Don't tell anyone, but I can confirm that it was written when they saw Aaron Broussard play. Because CSM CSU Oradea's man steals the ball 3.0 times each week, giving him the lead in that department and protecting Oradea's perfect record in the FIBA Europe Cup.


So, what happened with Pinar Karsiyaka after that unexpected defeat to Spirou Basket? They went +16 at Gaziantep. Then +20 v Groningen. Then +19 v Turk Telekom. Then +13 at Phoenix Brussels. Then lost -2 at Bahcesehir. Followed by a 38-point win over Spirou - showing what happens to those who dare to defeat KSK. And finished off with a +29 win over Galatasaray over the weekend. Guys, you made Karsiyaka mad, now you can only pray for mercy when you see them on the flipside...

*The power rankings are entirely subjective and is in no way a true, accurate ranking systems. All comments are purely those of the author.

Igor Curkovic

Igor Curkovic

Igor Curkovic is a Croatian freelance writer, Live Blog aficionado and meme expert who watches a lot of basketball and brings both the power and the rankings to the FIBA Europe Cup.