Image courtesy of Ufficio Stampa Briantea84

The quarter-finals of IWBF Europe’s Champions League have now been confirmed, following the completion of the preliminary round which took place on Friday 1st and Saturday 2nd February 2019.

RSB Thuringia Bulls (GER) and CD Ilunion(ESP) finished first and second in the 2018 Champions League automatically qualifying them for this season’s quarter-finals, so the competition was on to see who would join them.

The preliminary round was made up of three groups with five teams in each group. Only the top two teams from each group would qualify for the quarter-finals of the Champions League, with the teams finishing in third and fourth qualifying for the EuroLeague finals, and the teams finishing in fifth being eliminated from further European competition for this season.

After some top-level action, the teams joining RSB Thuringia Bulls and CD Ilunion are Bidaideak Bilbao BSR (ESP), UnipolSai Briantea84 Cantú (ITA), BSR Amiab Albacete (ESP), RSV Lahn-Dill (GER), Deco Amicacci Giulianova (ITA), and Beşiktaş JK TSBT (TUR).

Champions League 2019 Preliminary Round Group A

Italian hosts of Group A, UnipolSai Briantea84 Cantù, went unbeaten to top the group, with Spanish team Bidaideak Bilbao BSR finishing second with their only loss coming to Cantù (73-70). Turkish heavyweights Galatasaray claimed two wins and two losses securing themselves a place in the EuroLeague 1 finals in Sheffield, Great Britain. In the battle for fourth place, it came down to just two points as Russia’s BKIS “Nevskiy Alliance” defeated Germany’s BG Baskets Hamburg, 57-55, and claimed a place in the EuroLeague 2 finals in Porto Potenza, Italy. BG Baskets Hamburg are eliminated.

Champions League 2019 Preliminary Round Group B

A three-way tie ensued in Group B, as RSV Lahn-Dill, BSR Amiab Albacete and France’s Le Cannet all finished with three wins and one loss, but it was Le Cannet who just missed out losing on points difference between the three teams, meaning RSV Lahn-Dill and BSR Amiab Albacete qualified for the Champions League quarter-finals. Le Cannet’s consolation is a place in the EuroLeague 1 finals. The Owls from Great Britain placed fourth with one win over Italy’s GSD Porto Torres, gaining their place in the EuroLeague 2 finals. GSD Porto Torres are eliminated.

Image courtesy oof Hen Galili – ISCD – Israel Sport Centre for the Disabled

Champions League 2019 Preliminary Round Group C

Group C was held in Israel and again we saw another two days of thrilling action. Turkey’s Beşiktaş JK TSBT went 4-0 to win the group and make their way through to the quarter-finals along with Italy’s Deco Amicacci Giulianova, who saw off tough competition from Spain’s BSR ACE Gran Canaria winning their head-to-head by just one point. BSR Ace Gran Canaria had to settle for third place and a ticket to the EuroLeague 1 finals. Hosts Ilan Ramat Gan, despite pushing group winners Beşiktaş JK TSBT into overtime and losing out by just five points (69-64), won just one game, over France’s CS Meaux, to finish fourth, meaning CS Meaux are eliminated.

2019 Champions League Preliminary Round Results

2019 Champions League Preliminary Round Final Standings

2019 Champions League Quarter-finals

The draw for the quarter-finals took place in Cantú, Italy following the conclusion of the preliminary round.

Heading to Elxleben, Germany to compete with RSB Thuringia Bulls (GER) are UnipolSai Briantea84 Cantú (ITA), BSR Amiab Albacete (ESP), and Beşiktaş JK TSBT (TUR), whilst Bidaideak Bilbao BSR (ESP), RSV Lahn-Dill (GER), and Deco Amicacci Giulianova (ITA) will head to Madrid to compete with host CD Ilunion (ESP).

For more information about IWBF Europe’s Champions League and Euro League click here.