Six months after the last official Euroleague tipoff, the most exciting club competition in Europe returns, promising its fans an exciting season. The exact, same as last season, 18 teams are fighting for one trophy. With some interesting matchups in this first round, Euroleague is welcoming back the fans, under different circumstances due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The first round of the new Euroleague season (Oct 1&2) consists of the following matchups:
Anadolu Efes – Zenit St.Petersburg : The two teams have only met once last season with Anadolu Efes defeating the Russian club 90-88 last November. Despite the loss, Zenit set a new club record with 26 assists in a single game.
Olympiacos Piraeus- Zalgiris Kaunas: Despite the fact that Zalgiris has won 8/10 most recent matches, the last time those two teams met in Piraeus, Olympiacos’ captain, Vassilis Spanoulis, led Olympiacos to an 83-74 victory with 16 points and seven assists.
Maccabi Playtika Tel-Aviv – ALBA Berlin: Maccabi has an 11-1 record against ALBA and is 5-1 on its home floor. It is interesting to see that four of Maccabi’s home wins have been by 16 points or more including their latest 104-78 blowout in Round 7.
Barcelona – CSKA Moscow: Probably the most interesting game of the first round, CSKA Moscow is welcoming Barcelona of coach Saras Jasikevicius. The Russians will not be able to have Nikola Milutinov and Janis Strelnieks tonight. The two teams split road wins last season, but on its last visit to Palau Blaugrana, CSKA handed Barcelona a 67-96 beating in Round 11.
Valencia Basket – LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne: They have both been quite new in this Euroleague competition. ASVEL, which has never won a road game against Valencia, is travelling to Spain to start this Euroleague season with a win against a very tough opponent.
Khimki Moscow Region – Panathinaikos OPAP Athens: The Greeks are travelling to Moscow for this first round with only one goal; to get their first road win. Khimki is 5-4 all-time against Panathinaikos, having won its last four home games, including a 103-86 decision last season.
Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul vs. Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade: With a new coach, Fenerbahce Beko has enjoyed dominance over Zvezda, winning eight of their 10 games this century, including a perfect 5-0 record at home.
FC Bayern Munich – AX Armani Exchange Milan: Armani Milan, probably one of the strongest teams in this season’s Euroleague championship, is traveling to Germany hoping for a great start this season. These two played their 2019-20 opener in Munich last season, too. Bayern won that game 78-64 behind 18 points from Vladimir Lucic.
TD Systems Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz vs. Real Madrid : Two Spanish teams are fighting in this Euroleague opener. On its last visit to Buesa Arena, Real Madrid blew past Baskonia 55-77. Those were the fewest points Baskonia has scored in a EuroLeague home game this century.
Game is on and, this season too, Euroleague is promising its fans great games, many buckets and many reasons to watch the games of your favorite teams.