Beşiktaş pitted in tough Euro group
ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Beşiktaş has beaten Anadolu Efes to win its first Turkish League title in almost four decades and is qualified for the Turkish Airlines Euroleague for the first time. AA photo
Debutant Beşiktaş has been handed a tough group, while competition regulars Fenerbahçe Ülker and Anadolu Efes have reason to be hopeful, after the draw for the 2012-13 Turkish Airlines Euroleague Regular Season was made July 6.
Turkey will be represented at the top-level continental basketball competition with three teams for the second consecutive year.
Beko Turkish Basketball League (TBL) champion Beşiktaş managed to qualify for the Turkish Airlines Euroleague for the first time, but it will face a tough test in its first season.
Barcelona Regal and CSKA Moscow, the two teams with the best winning percentage last year, were placed in the Group D alongside Beşiktaş. Competition regulars Partizan Belgrade, Lietuvos Rytas and Brose Baskets Bamberg were also placed in the same group.
Panathinaikos and Real Madrid are favorites to run for the top spot in Group A, while Fenerbahçe Ülker, Khimki and Union Olimpija are also in the group. The sixth team in the group will be decided after the qualifying rounds are completed.
Anadolu Efes will battle against defending champion Olympiacos Piraeus and Caja Laboral in Group C, and Zalgiris Kaunas, EA7 Emporio Armani and Cedevita Zagreb are also in the group.
Group B, the only group where no Turkish team is involved, has Maccabi Electra, Montepaschi Siena, Alba Berlin, Unicaja Malaga, Asseco Prokom and Elan Chalon.
The top four teams in the group will advance to the Top 16 phase, which will be longer than previous seasons. The teams that reach the Final Four will play a total of between 29 and 31 games this season.
Moreover, the days of the games themselves will shift this season, with the weekly calendar moving all games to Thursdays and Fridays.