Despite threats of suspension by FIBA for teams choosing Euroleague Basketball over the governing body’s new FIBA Basketball Champions League, the anticipated draw for this season’s EuroCup was made earlier today.
Russian teams Lokomotiv Kuban, Zenit St. Petersburg, Nizhny Novgorod and Khimki were suspended by Russian Basketball Federation president Andrei Kirilenko who feared that the inclusion of domestic teams into the EuroCup would exclude the Russia national side from competing in international events.
Montenegrin side Buducnost Podgorica were also handed a suspension from the country’s basketball federation thanks to a reported letter from FIBA asking for their exclusion unless their domestic league champions were suspended.
However, Lokomotiv Kuban, who were in last year’s EuroLeague Final Four are drawn in Group D and face a tough clash with Valencia in a key battle for top spot.
Unicaja Malaga, usual mainstays in the EuroLeague are housed in Group C with key matches against Bayern Munich and Dinamo Sassari.
Via EuroCup release:
With a new name and a new look, the 7DAYS EuroCup got the balls bouncing for the 2016-17 season with the annual draw on Thursday, which set up the road to glory that one of the 24 competing teams will take to become the 15th EuroCup champion. The 2016-17 7DAYS EuroCup Draw took place in Barcelona, where the clubs were divided into four groups of six teams each. The 24 clubs, which hail from 12 different countries and feature five former champs plus two past Euroleague winners, start with a 10-game, round-robin regular season, from which the best four in each group will advance to the Top 16. That stage will be comprised of four groups of four teams; after a six-game round-robin schedule, the best two in each group move on to the quarterfinals. The quarterfinals, like the semifinals and finals after it, will be played in a best-of-three series format with a new champion expected to be crowned in early April after playing a maximum of 25 games, which would be the most ever played by a single team in a EuroCup season.