The Turkish Airlines had it’s rest this week, as domestic competition took center-stage, and the Final Four logo was released out to the world. I now ask you what’s wrong with my opening sentence?
While I like the new logo, I wonder if the designers realise that they’ve made a mistake by not putting in the Euroleague emblem? And why is their so much emphasis on ‘Turkish Airlines?’ While it is the Euroleague’s main sponsor, and it should have a place on the Final Four piece, it shouldn’t have to drain out the main logo, which you see in this write-up. I’m not hating on Turkish Airlines, I enjoyed my flight to Istanbul in August, and the service in-flight was great, but they shouldn’t be all-over the new logo. In any event, Barcelona 2011 promises to be an awesome Final Four, and one that I’m really looking forward to.
Logo’s aside though, this is about the teams and we’re deep in the Top-16 at the moment, with some amazing action, games going to down to the wire, and unforgettable finishes.
All groups are going as expected, placing wise. The Group F encounter between Union Olimpija and Maccabi Electra will go a long way to decide who qualifies out of the pool. Union Olimpija have been the fairytale story of this year, Kenny Gregory, Goran Jagodnik and Kevinn Pinkney have been the main three that have brought Union to the dance, lose against the favourites for the Euroleague crown – and their time will almost certainly be up – unless Barcelona or Maccabi slip-up at anytime, which I don’t see.
Group H sees a similar story with last season’s Eurocup winners, Power Electronics Valencia hosting Greek powerhouses, Olympiacos, with the ACB side needing to win to stand a shot of advancing. No doubt that Valencia have proved their place in this year’s elite European league, after six years out, they hope for more to come. But they have unfinished business. Blow this though, and it’s one step out the exit door.
Barcelona, Real Madrid and Fenerbahce Ulker all have perfect 3-0 records, but those will all be tested next week when all three sides face away games. Barca travel to Roma to square-off with Lottomatica, Real go to Istanbul to face Efes, in a pivotal Group G clash and Fenerbahce go to Kaunas to go up against Zalgiris. I predict that that one perfect record will go next week. Efes to beat Real, anyone?
John Hobbs for TalkBasket.net.
Follow John on Twitter @johnswisshobbs