Waiting over for start of Basketball Champions League

By Peter Thompson 17 October 2016 58
Waiting over for start of Basketball Champions League
A new era gets under way when the first games of the inaugural Basketball Champions League take place on Tuesday.
The International Basketball Federation (FIBA) launched the new breakaway European tournament in Paris back in March and the 40 teams are now finalising their preparations for historic matches this week.
Nine current and 19 former national champions will compete in the Champions League, which is made of five groups of eight teams from 22 different countries.
The clubs qualified due to their performances in domestic competition last season and 14 come into the competition after making blistering starts to their campaigns.
Iberostar Tenerife, Partizan Belgrade, Besiktas Sompo Japan and Banvit are among the sides to have all made perfect starts to the season in their domestic or regional leagues.
Tenerife have made their best start to a season, winning all four games in the Spanish Liga Endesa, and will look to maintain that form at Cibona Zagreb in Group D on Tuesday.
Besiktas, winners of both games in the Turkish BSL league so far, make the trip to Charleroi to take on Proximus Spirou in Group E.
Polish champions Stelmet Zielona Gora have also won two out of two this season, but face a tricky trip to Sardinia to face Dinamo Sassari in the same group, while Partizan Belgrade take their 5-0 record to MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg on Wednesday.
The clash between late entrants AEK and Szolnoki Olaj is another to look out for on Tuesday in Group E.
Banvit, Aris, AS Monaco and Fraport Skyliner are the main contenders in Group A, with Umana Reyer Venezia and Pinar Karsiyaka among the teams in a Group B which is the only pool without a side to have won a European trophy.
ASVEL Lyon- Villeurbanne will be expected to make their presence felt in Group C and make the journey to Italy for their opener against Openjobmetis Varese.

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Peter Thompson