Friday Frappé: AEK still the team to beat in BCL
In this week’s edition of the Friday Frappé, AGONAsport’s Peter Katsiris discusses how AEK are still the team to beat in the Basketball Champions League…
There has been no championship honeymoon for AEK in the Basketball Champions League as the Athenians continue to impress on the continent following their triumph on home court last May.
AEK, who underwent plenty of personnel changes on and off the court in the offseason, remain the frontrunners in this season’s competition with an 8-1 start to their title defense with the only blemish coming on Gameday 1.
AEK’s form on the continent has been impressive since the start of 2018 as the Enosi will finish the calendar year with 15 wins since 1 January – more than any other club.
AEK would have been forgiven if they were complacent after capturing their first Champions League title in spectacular fashion last season, but that hasn’t been the case under new head coach Luca Banchi.
Perhaps the Gameday 1 loss to Hapoel Bank Yahav Jerusalem served as a wakeup call, but AEK haven’t missed a beat since then and have put together eight straight wins in the Champions League to claim first place in Group C.
AEK are one of three teams in this season’s competition with an 8-1 record but its perhaps the form of key players, like Vince Hunter, at vital moments that is what has kept the wind in AEK’s sails.
With five rounds of action remaining in the group phase of the competition, it seems AEK are destined for a knockout round berth and if that’s the case then certainly the club will be one to avoid in the knockout round.