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Back News Euroleague TalkBasket Euroleague Profile: Union Olimpija Ljubljana

TalkBasket Euroleague Profile: Union Olimpija Ljubljana

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Here is the penultimate Group A side, Union Olimpija Ljubjlana.

Introduction: It will be a very young but talented Union Olimpija side gracing the Euroleague this season, as they look to improve on their dismal 1-9 record last year.

Finland international Teemu Rannikko and Klemen Prepelic will add much needed scoring to this roster but they have been housed in a tough Group A that includes Panathinaikos, Real Madrid and Fenerbahce and all have vital Euroleague experience.

This will be a good learning curve though for this Slovenian side and they will fight their case all the way to the final buzzer.

Coach: Saso Filipovski has a few seasons of Euroleague under his belt but unfortunately his record isn't one to shout about. Filipovski is better suited to coaching youngsters and is good at helping them develop so maybe the young Union Olimpija side can spring a victory or two in this group, but it won't be easy.

Domestically, Filipovski has had success; he led Union Olimpija to the Slovenian title back in 2003/04 and again in the 2004/05 seasons. He also won the National Cup in 2005 and the Slovenian SuperCup in 2003.

Key Player: Teemu Rannikko will provide some scoring power for this young side. A deadly three-point shooter and a player that can get to the hoop plus draw contact as well.

One thing Rannikko can also provide is a veteran voice to a mainly young team. His words can rub-off on his team-mates as they prepare for a tough start.

Breakthrough Player: Soon-to-be 20-year-old Klemen Prepelic will look to make a splash in his first Euroleague season. He averaged just over 16 points a game in the under-20 European Championships, earning all-tournament honours and held his own in last season's Adriatic League, playing for Helios Domzale.

The youngster is more than capable of playing with the best and will no doubt look to prove his worth this season.

Biggest Euroleague Moment: Union Olimpija's Euroleague record is, compared to most, dismal. You have to go back to the 2000/01 season where they reached the playoffs. However, there heroics of the 2010/11 season where they beat Panathinaikos, Efes Pilsen (Anadolu Efes) and CSKA Moscow en route to the Top 16 where they nearly upset Barcelona at the Stozice Arena but ultimately fell short of the playoffs.


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