FIBA Champions League Permutations: How AEK, Aris, and PAOK can reach the Last 16
Greece’s representatives in the FIBA Basketball Champions League have it all to do with just two rounds of fixtures remaining in the group stage…
AGONAsport’s Peter Katsiris takes a look at the permutations required to take AEK, Aris, and PAOK into the Round of 16 of the FIBA Basketball Champions League.
After a dreadful round of results on Gameday 12, the fortunes of AEK, Aris, and PAOK in the FIBA Champions League aren’t as clear-cut as each side needs help from out-of-town in order to reach the Round of 16.
As a reminder, the top four sides in each group will qualify for the Round of 16, while sides ranked fifth and sixth in each group will parachute into the FIBA Europe Cup Round of 16.
PAOK: GREECE'S BEST SHOT
GROUP B STANDINGS
Iberostar Tenerife 10-2
MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg 10-2
Neptunas Klaipeda 7-5
Elan Chalon 5-7
SikeliArchivi Capo d’Orlando 2-10
GAMEDAY 13 (30-31/1)
SikeliArchivi Capo d’Orlando – Ventspils
PAOK – Neptunas Klaipeda
Iberostar Tenerife – Elan Chalon
Gaziantep – MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg
Elan Chalon – Gaziantep
MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg – SikelichiArchivi Capo d’Orlando
Neptunas Klaipeda – Iberostar Tenerife
Ventspils – PAOK
PAOK appear to have the best chance of the three Greek clubs to progress as the Dikefalos tou Vorra currently sit deadlocked in a three-way tie for the fourth and final spot in Group B. Despite a loss to group leaders Iberostar Tenerife last time out, PAOK still control their own destiny so long as they win both their remaining games (vs. Neptunas, @ Ventspils).
Should PAOK get those two wins, they’ll even be looking at a shot at third place in the group; however, the priority will be reaching the Round of 16 at any cost and therefore the Thessaloniki side will need some favors in particular against Elan Chalon. Out of all the Greek clubs, PAOK’s road to the Round of 16 is the most straightforward.
Should PAOK not go 2/2 in their final fixtures, a win against Ventspils and a 0/2 run from Elan Chalon will be enough for PAOK to sneak into the Round of 16.
AEK: GET THE JOB DONE, HOPE FOR RESULTS
Movistar Estudiantes 7-5
medi Bayreuth 7-5
SIG Strasbourg 7-5
Umana Reyer Venezia 7-5
Petrol Olimpija 4-8
Rosa Radom 1-11
GAMEDAY 13 (30-31/1)
Petrol Olimpja – AEK
Movistar Estudiantes – Banvit
SIG Strasbourg – Rosa Radom
medi Bayreuth – Umana Reyer Venezia
GAMEDAY 14 (6/2)
Umana Reyer Venezia – Movistar Estudiantes
Rosa Radom – Petrol Olimpija
AEK – medi Bayreuth
Banvit – SIG Strasbourg
At 6-6, AEK are not yet guaranteed a spot in either the Champions League or the Europe Cup, which should motivate the club to extend their European campaign. Due to the competitiveness of the group, AEK will need to win out their Champions League schedule and hope for some out-of-town scores to go their way.
Namely, AEK will need to avoid a tie to Strasbourg after losing to the French side twice. AEK will also ideally avoid a tie with Movistar Estudiantes due to an inferior point differential in the two matches with the Spanish side despite splitting the season series 1-1.
Having swept the season series against Umana Reyer Venezia, AEK will be keen to catch the Italian side in a tie as the Enosi will win-out with the tiebreaker.
AEK will need to beat medi Bayreuth by at least 8 points in order to ensure they are ahead of any tiebreaker with the German side, though this won’t be a concern if AEK don’t first take care of business against Petrol Olimpija in Slovenia on Gameday 13.
With all of these scenarios in mind, AEK will certainly be keen on Movistar Estudiantes winning their final matches against medi Bayreuth and Umana Reyer Venezia in order to have a chance of reaching the Round of 16.
ARIS: THE TOUGHEST PATH OUT OF THE THREE
GROUP D STANDINGS
Besiktas Sompo Japan 9-3
Nanterre 92 8-4
CEZ Nymburk 8-4
Stelmet Enea Zielona Gora 5-7
Sidigas Avellino 5-7
Telekom Baskets Bonn 4-8
GAMEDAY 13 (30-31/1)
Stelmet Enea Zielona Gora – Nanterre 92
Besiktas Sompo Japan – Telekom Baskets Bonn
Oostende CEZ – Nymburk
Sidigas Avellino – Aris
GAMEDAY 14 (7/2)
CEZ Nymburk – Stelmet Enea Zielona Gora
Aris – Oostende
Nanterre 92 – Besiktas Sompo Japan
Telekom Baskets Bonn – Sidigas Avellino
Out of all the Greek clubs in the competition, Aris certainly have the most-complicated path to the Round of 16 as a sweep of their final games won’t even guarantee the Thessaloniki outfit a spot in the next round of the competition proper.
With only fourth place up for grabs in the group, Aris will need to win-out against Sidigas Avellino and Oostende (by at least 3 points) in order to have a shot of qualification for the Round of 16.
Aris will need to avoid a tie for fourth place with Telekom Baskets Bonn as the Germans won the head-to-head series 2-0, while Aris would benefit from a tie for fourth with Stelmet Enea Zielona Gora and Sidigas Avellino (provided Aris triumph against the Italian side on Gameday 13).