Next up in Group B is Alba Berlin, as we continue to profile on all 24 Euroleague teams.
Introduction: A team that has spent the last three seasons competing in the Eurocup and only made it to the Euroleague as a wildcard due to Khimki’s Eurocup win and runners-up position in the Russian league. So it is a step up for the Germans but despite suffering a setback with Nathan Peavy unfortunately sidelined indefinitely, they boast a solid roster, mainly of new faces plus a new head coach.
Alba will look to qualify from Group B and they will see that as their main goal. Anything else will be considered a bonus.
Coach: Sasa Obradovic has come in and wants an improved season, both in Europe and domically. He has brought in six new faces, including point guard Vule Avdalovic and Bosnian Nihad Djedovic. The majority of the front court are Euroleague newcomers but will look to assert themselves early on and with Obradovic’s leadership, a lot will rest on his guidence to make sure they are effective.
Key Player: Versatile combo guard Nihad Djedovic can play the small forward spot if needed, but finds his style more suited to the two-guard role. Can post big numbers if he is on form and the beauty of his game is that he can create his own shot and with point guard Avdalovic on court, he will give the Bosnian good looks to the basket. There is quality at every position this season for Alba, so any player can score heavily or contribute in other areas when needed.
Breakout Player: If he is given enough court time, teenager Joey Ney could surprise a lot of opponents with an improved jump shot and a general no fear attitude, which coaches look for. Still bits of his game to iron out and improve on but the future’s bright for Ney and if given a chance, can take it if on form.
Biggest Euroleague Moment: Since the 2001/02 season, Alba Berlin have been a Eurocup (then ULEB Cup) team. They did make the Top 16 in their last appearance in the Euroleague but with a wildcard entry this year, will look to repay the Euroleague with a good run. Their fans, who are amongst the most loyal and enthusiastic desverve it too.