01 October, 2019
29 April, 2020
FIBA Europe Cup Power Rankings: Volume 5
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FIBA Europe Cup Power Rankings: Volume 5

MUNICH (Germany) - FIBA Europe Cup is back in action with the Second Round, which also means that our Power Rankings are back, too. We will be checking up on the remaining 16 teams every two weeks, continuing with our fifth edition.


It was always going to be an uphill battle in a group with Bahcesehir College, Enisey Krasnoyarsk and Pinar Karsiyaka. And ZZ Leiden could not do anything about it over the first two gamedays, falling to 0-2 with a -62 in the +/- department. Crazier things have happened, but Leiden aren't in the best of situations right now.


In theory, they could've been 16th because being 0-2 and -46 in a group without Bahcesehir College, Enisey Krasnoyarsk and Pinar Karsiyaka sounds devastating. Landstede Hammers Zwolle are two wins down on Ventspils and Kyiv Basket in their group. Not a good place to be in with just two games gone...


Just read the Zwolle part again. Although -22 sounds a bit better, right? Especially when you consider Egis Kormend almost pulled off an upset away at Kyiv Basket last time around. They have two more road games coming up, they can't afford to drop to 0-4 after that part of the schedule.


Spirou Basket have two straight games at home, against medi Bayreuth and SL Benfica. They can't afford any more slip ups like the one against Bakken Bears if they want to make a splash in the FIBA Europe Cup. So, unless we see them at 2-2 in the next edition of the Power Rankings, they will remain in the bottom four, for sure.


CSM CSU Oradea lost by five then won by six. See, in a group with all four teams at 1-1, points difference could make all the difference, so they need to take down Tsmoki-Minsk and U-BT Cluj Napoca in back-to-back home games to have a good chance to win the group here.


They had CSKA Moscow on the ropes at the end of 2019, but lost that one by 3 points...and then fell apart against Zenit St Petersburg just a couple of days ago. So you could say Tsmoki-Minsk have had their ups and downs since their narrow win over U-BT Cluj Napoca in their last FIBA Europe Cup game. A win away at Oradea could get them back up and into the Top 10 next time we meet up in the Power Rankings.


In a group with Pinar Karsiyaka and Enisey Krasnoyarsk, you'll need nerves of steel, for sure. And Bahcesehir College have done their part in training those nerves, since they won back-to-back overtime games in the Turkish League since we last met. They play host to Pinar Karsiyaka this week - it could be the game of the season, since Bahcesehir defeated Karsiyaka in the Turkish League already, handing them one of only four defeats since the start of the season.


That defeat to medi Bayreuth was the only one for SL Benfica over their last 13 games in all competitions. Bakken Bears are in Portugal this week, chance for both of them to prove they are the best B-named team of the FIBA Europe Cup 2020!


Speaking of B-named teams, medi Bayreuth are a waaaaaay better team than the medi Bayreuth which struggled to start the season. Up to 6-8 in the Bundesliga, they are back in the Play-Offs hunt, and a trip to Belgium to face Spirou Basket could take them to 2-1 in FIBA Europe Cup, so this is looking waaaaaay better than the 0-6 in all competitions from October.


Get this - U-BT Cluj Napoca lost two straight games to CSM CSU Oradea and Tsmoki-Minsk in the Romanian League and the FIBA Europe Cup, respectively. That was the first time they lost two straight since May, and the fact that they are 20-3 in all competitions this season should keep you on your toes in the 1-1 group with Minsk, Oradea and Ironi Ness Ziona. Cluj could go all the way, trust us on this one.


Nothing's changed, Ironi Ness Ziona are still winning games, and Jeff Withey is still looking like an MVP. But that 6-point defeat to CSM CSU Oradea means that Ironi can't afford another bad game in the Second Round - facing U-BT Cluj Napoca next will be one of the toughest tests they've had all season long, so make sure you tune in for that one on Wednesday.


Should we talk about Tomislav Zubcic yet? The Croatian sensation is having a career year in Enisey Krasnoyarsk, averaging 17.6 points, 6.3 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.3 blocks per game in the FIBA Europe Cup, putting up a 33-point game against Bahcesehir, going 6-of-9 from beyond the arc. If Enisey are the feel-good team of the season, Zubcic is the feel-good player of the campaign, too.


Ventspils are 8-0 in the FIBA Europe Cup this season. That's all you need to know.
(Plus, you should know about Ryan Luther's 13.5 points, 10.5 rebounds, 23.6 efficiency per game. That's also cool.)


The only teams to defeat Kyiv Basket in 19 games since the start of November? Tsmoki-Minsk, Mykolaiv, Dnipro and Odessa. And since Kyiv don't have to play any of those teams in Group K here, they could start booking their flights towards the Play-Offs already.


Bakken Bears are 16-1 over their last 17 games in all competitions. And when you make winning a habit, it's no wonder that you are the best of the rest in the Power Rankings, just behind the almighty leaders who are on another level so far. Bakken are in a perfect position to be the challenger here, if the leaders slip up, you know that the perennial Danish champs will have that number one in their sights...


Pinar Karsiyaka are 21-4 in all games since the season started. That's a winning percentage that would put them second to the Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference of the NBA, or top of the Western Conference, ahead of the LA Lakers. So that's how impressive 21 wins in 25 games sound. At this rate, it seems like Karsiyaka are strong favorites to reach the Finals in the FIBA Europe Cup, the Turkish Cup and the Turkish League, make sure you check them out as they search for a bit of payback against Bahcesehir College this week.

*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.