Opening Day Preview: Groups A - D

05 November 2012

Edo Muric, KRKA Novo Mesto
Edo Muric is a youngster to watch, as KRKA hope to start their camapign with a win


EuroChallenge 2011 champions KRKA Novo Mesto are hosting Michelin ETHA Engomi and will be looking to make a winning start to the competition.

The Slovenians are off to a modest start in the Adriatic league having won three of their first seven games while the Cypriots earned a first victory in their domestic league over the weekend.

The other game in the group comes with an enhanced sense of deja vu, as Tofas Bursa played host to Pinar Karsiyaka on Saturday in the Turkish Beko Ligi, with the hosts edging out the visitors 95-94.

Karsiyaka however have every right to hope they can turn the tables around this time since this close defeat was their first loss this season and they have been pretty convincing in their first three games in the Turkish league.



Joensuun Kataja had a morale-boosting 73-56 victory at LrNMKY in the Finnish Korisliiga at the weekend, with no less than 10 players seeing action on the court.

More importantly, as Aliaga Petkim can testify, the Finns are a club who take their EuroChallenge campaign very seriously, beating the Turkish side twice in qualification to make the Regular Season.

They are playing host to CSU Asesoft Ploiesti, who are in ninth place in the Romanian LNB with a 3-3 record and are coming off a 94-85 home defeat to Oradea.

Krasne Krylia are the strong favourites in the other Group B clash, on Wednesday against Keravnos.

The Cypriot side are leading their domestic league with two wins in as many games but Sergey Bazarevich's side have already played seven games this season and can count with a more experienced roster.

The Samara outfit has a 2-2 record in the VTB league and is at 2-1 in the Russian PBL, in which they edged out Triumph 69-68 on Saturday.

Watch out for point guard Aaron Miles who is leading the VTB league in assists with 6.8 per contest.



The Scandinavian derby between the Finns of Tampereen Pyrintö and the Swedes of Södertälje Kings is one of the most interesting clashes of the first day.

Both teams are at the top of their respective domestic league standings, although the Kings now have to share the summit with two other teams after suffering a 62-58 road defeat to Sundsvall on Friday.

The Tampere outfit on the other hand are solitary leaders in the Korisliiga with an 8-1 record and routed Korihait 102-76 in their last game, behind an impressive display by young Finland international Carl Lindbom who finished with 26 points and nine rebounds.

Reigning Swedish champions Norrköping Dolphins are trying to get their season back on track after suffering four defeats in the domestic league and reached a comfortable 87-65 victory over Jamtland at home on Friday.

Their road to recovery might be interrupted on Tuesday as they face a tough assignment on the road.

BK Ventspils have six wins in as many games in the Baltic league and have only dropped one of four in the Latvian national league.

The Latvian side defeated TTU 67-54 over the weekend in the former competition.


6. Slobodan Dundjerski (Gaz Metan Medias)
Slobodan Dundjerski scored in double figures in both Qualifying Round games, as Gaz Metan Medias eliminated Ural Ekaterinburg


JDA Dijon head coach Jean-Louis Borg has voiced his concern over the performances of American duo Terrance Campbell and Kevin Tiggs in the beginning of the season and has made clear he expects to see an improvement on Tuesday in Romania.

It might be difficult though as Gaz Metan Medias, a team that qualified to the EuroChallenge Regular Season at the expense of Ural Ekaterinburg, are enjoying a great run of form and are at the top of the Romanian LNB with six wins in seven games.

Tartu University Rock are also off to a great start to the season as they march on undefeated in the Estonian league and top their group in the Baltic league having lost only one game in six.

The Estonians however will probably face the most demanding challenge in their season so far on Tuesday, as they go up against Khimik Yuzhne.

Khimik are joint top of the very competitive Ukrainian Superleague with a 9-2 record and are very eager to get off to a winning start in the EuroChallenge in front of their fans.


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Izmir, TUR
Deurne, BEL
Limassol, CYP
Tbilisi, GEO
Timisoara, ROU
Pitesti, ROU
Ventspils, LAT
Nicosia, CYP
Oldenburg, GER
Medias, ROU
Gravelines, FRA
Holon, ISR
Dijon, FRA
Joensuu, FIN
Nicosia, CYP
Yuzhny, UKR
Körmend, HUN
Samara, RUS
Novo Mesto, SLO
Norrköping, SWE
Aalst, BEL
Levallois, FRA
Izmir, TUR
Rakvere, EST
Nancy, FRA
Södertälje, SWE
Szolnok, HUN
Tampere, FIN
Tartu, EST
Bursa, TUR
Minsk, BLR
Ekaterinburg, RUS
Klosterneuburg, AUT