Euroleague groups picked in Barcelona
BARCELONAEuroleague fans can start planning the rest of the calendar year after the draw for the 2013-14 Turkish Airlines Euroleague Regular Season and the Euroleague Qualifying Rounds took place today in Barcelona.
Turkey’s Fenerbahçe Ülker will compete in Group A, where it will face tough competition from Barcelona and CSKA Moscow. Anadolu Efes will be in Group B alongside powerhouses Real Madrid and Zalgiris Kaunas. Istanbul’s third team in the Euroleague, Galatasaray, is in Group C with defending champions Olympiacos, Sienna and Malaga. Turkey’s rising star, Banvit, will have to compete in a qualification group to secure a place in the race.
The 23 Euroleague regular season teams – one more team will join them from the qualifying rounds – were divided into four groups of six teams, while the eight qualifying rounds teams learned which opponents they must get through to join the elite teams in European basketball.
The competition format is identical to last season, which means that the draw will be the only one this season. Four teams from each regular season group will advance to the Last 16 stage, which will feature two groups of eight. Then the top half of each group moves on to best-of-five playoffs series for a spot in the 2014 Turkish Airlines Euroleague Final Four. The lone change from previous seasons is that the eight teams which do not advance from the Euroleague Regular Season to the Last 16 will be reclassified into the Eurocup Last 32. The 2013-14 season formally begins on Oct. 1 with the first games in the qualifying rounds, which runs through October 4. The regular season tips off on Oct. 17.
Before the draw, Euroleague Basketball President and CEO Jordi Bertomeu addressed club representatives and media members, as well as tens of thousands of fans watching on television and online around the world.