The biggest wheelchair basketball club competition took place in Europe this March (10th – 12th March). Over the course of the weekend clubs from across Europe took part in three different levels of competition, Euro League 2, Euro League 3 games and also the quarter finals of the Champions Cup.
Euro League 1
The first round of games for Euro League 1 had already taken place to determine the teams that played in the Champions Cup quarter finals in Madrid and Wetzlar last week (10th – 12th March).
With only four places in the Champion Cup up for grabs the competition in both quarter final stages was fierce. In Wetzlar, Germany it was the two teams from Germany RSV Lahn-Dill and RSB Thüringia Bulls, that went through with two wins a piece, whereas Italian team GSD Porto Torres and French team Hyeres managed just the one win.
The other two teams joining the German teams in the Final Four were decided in Spain, hosts CD Ilunion convincingly made their way through with three wins and the final spot went to Italian’s MIA Briatea84 Cantu who saw off Turkish team Beşiktaş Jimnastik Kulübü and Germany’s BG Basket Hamburg. Click here for for final standings and results.
The Final Four of the Champions Cup will be held in Tenerife, Spain on the 5th and 6th May.
The schedule will be:
Euro League 2
In Euro League 2 there was a total of fourty games across two days (Friday 10th and Saturday 11th March). The twenty teams were split into four groups, in Group A there was Spanish team BSR Amiab Albacete, Israeli team Beit-Halochem Haifa, Turkish team TSK Rehab Merkezi Kulübü, Belgium Interwetten-Coloplast Sitting Bulls and a team from Bosnia and Herzegovina KKI VRBAS Banja Luka. Hosts BSR Amiab Albacete topped the group going through to the Andre Vergauwen Cup undefeated whilst Beit-Halochem Haifa and TSK Rehab Merkezi Kulübü secured second and third spot, taking them through to the Willi Brinkmann Cup and Challenge Cup, respectively.
It was Oldham Owls, from Great Britain, in Group B who took the clean sweep after a nail-biting opener against ASD Padova Millenium. Whilst Italians ASD Padova Millennium, with three wins and SC Devedo from The Netherlands securing two victories, who qualified for a finals. As the Belgium team, Antwerp GEMBO Players, and the team from France, Leopards de Guyenne Bordeaux both missed out.
In Group C Kardemir Karabükspor Kulübü, from Turkey who also celebrated four victories to qualify for the Andre Vergauwen unbeaten. Russian side BasKI Neva Star finished second with three wins and the Swiss host Pilatus Dragons RCZS the third and final qualifying place with two wins. One win for Germans Köln 99ers was not enough and French side Meylan Grenoble Handibasket lost all their games to finish bottom of the group.
The final winner of Euro League 2 was Spanish Bidaideak Bilbao BSR in Group D. BKIS Nevsky Alliance finished second and will join fellow Russian team BasKI Neva Star in the Willi Brinkmann Cup and London Titans claimed a spot in the Challenge Cup finishing third, whilst both French sides, Club Tregorrois Lannion and Les Aigles de Meyrin, finished disappointed.
Euro League 3
Fifteen teams particpated in Euro League 3. Germany’s Rhine River Rhinos sailed through Group A to claim top place and the spot in the Challenge Cup against opponents Izmir BB Genclik VE S.K. (Turkey), Only Friends (The Netherlands), G.S. Dodekanisos (Greece) and LTRSN Lodz (Poland).
The matches in Group B were very close, with two only decided in overtime and the top three teams all finishing on seven points. However it was French team Handi Sud Basket Marseille who narrowly claimed the place in the Challenge Cup ahead of Sheffield Steelers (Great Britain) and Krylja Barsa (Russia) on points difference. CAPSAAA (France) and IKS GTM Konstancin (Poland) finished in the bottom two.
In Group C it was WB Studánka Pardubice the only Czech Republic team in the European competition who topped the group, beatng KS PACTUM Scyzory Kielce (Poland), KIK Zmaj Gradacac (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Flink Stones (Austria) and Coytes WBC (Great Britain).
From 28th to 30th April the ANDRÉ VERGAUWEN CUP will take place in Toulouse where eight teams will take part. Here are the groups:
The following teams will take place in the WILLI BRINKMANN CUP will take place in Yalova, Turkey between 28th to 30th April.
The third cup which will take place on this weekend in April will be the CHALLENGE CUP in Vigo, Spain.
Photo courtesy of jomamaramiphoto – more available here http://www.jomamaramiphotos.com/