7DAYS EuroCup kicks off the 2020-21 season

The 7DAYS EuroCup started on Tuesday with the first three games of the 2020-21 season. While Buducnost VOLI Podgorica and Unicaja Malaga protected their home floors, Dolomiti Energia Trento came from behind to spoil Frutti Extra Bursaspor’s competition debut. Nine games in as many different countries on Wednesday will close out the opening week.

7DAYS Eurocup

Group A

Two 7DAYS EuroCup newcomers open Group A as Bahcesehir Koleji Istanbul hosts JL Bourg En Bresse on Wednesday. The hosts boast shooting star Erick Green, while the visitors have a former EuroCup champ, center Alen Omic, to give experience. Later, two historical teams meet again when Partizan NIS Belgrade visits Joventut Badalona, the team it beat at the finish of the 1992 EuroLeague title game. The hosts brought home two-time EuroCup champion Pau Ribas to lead the team this season. Also later on Wednesday, it’s another first-time showdown as two teams that reached last season’s playoffs, Umana Reyer Venice and UNICS Kazan, meet in Italy. Reyer returns a strong core in Mitchell Watt, Austin Daye, Mike Bramos, and Jeremy Chappell while UNICS has rebuilt around former EuroCup champ Jamar Smith.

Group B

Unicaja Malaga nearly wasted a 20-point lead but fended off Boulogne Metropolitans 92 in picking up a 96-88 home victory on Tuesday. Tim Abromaitis and Francis Alonso both scored 14 points to pace six Unicaja scorers in double figures. Tomer Ginat led Metropolitans with 16 points. Buducnost VOLI Podgorica tipped off its 7DAYS EuroCup season with a 93-81 home victory over Germani Brescia. Nikola Ivanovic spearheaded a 14-2 Buducnost run to start the fourth quarter with 10 of his team-high 24 points. Dusan Ristic paced the Brescia attack with 17 points. On Wednesday, ratiopharm Ulm opens its doors to Mornar Bar for the first time. Ulm looks to turn around last season’s 1-9 finish, its worst in seven previous EuroCup appearances, while Mornar is full of experienced players in their primes, all aged between 24 and 31.

Group C

To start three Group C games on Wednesday, Lietkabelis Panevezys returns to the 7DAYS EuroCup against Virtus Segafredo Bologna in their first game ever. Lietkabelis aims to use the home-court and some experienced shooters to its advantage. Virtus, led by EuroLeague All-Decade choice Milos Teodosic, has unfinished business from its quarterfinals run before the end of last season was canceled. Another first-time meeting pits former champ Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar against visiting newcomer Telenet Giants Antwerp. Lokomotiv has a returning core under two-time EuroCup winning coach Evgeny Pashutin. Antwerp has 10 players from last season’s team, assuring chemistry from the start. Two teams that need no introduction are MoraBanc Andorra and AS Monaco, who meet Wednesday in another principalities derby, their fifth in less than two years. In their four previous games, the home teams prevailed.

Group D

Gary Browne and JaCorey Williams each recorded double-doubles as Dolomiti Energia Trento rallied from a 12-point deficit to spoil Frutti Extra Bursaspor’s 7DAYS EuroCup debut with an 86-93 victory on Tuesday in Bursa, Turkey. Williams posted 19 points and 11 rebounds and Browne tallied 17 points and 10 assists to fuel the winners. On Wednesday, ambitious sides Promitheas Patras and Herbalife Gran Canaria clash for the first time in Greece. Promitheas’s quarterfinals run in its competition debut was cut short by the pandemic, while Gran Canaria has been a quarterfinalist or better in its last four EuroCup appearances. Finally, Nanterre 92 hosts Cedevita Olimpija Ljubljana for a second consecutive year after having beaten the visitors both times they met last season. The two teams are very balanced in their rosters and aspirations, making this a game that may well be looked back on as a decisive one when the regular season finishes.

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