2018-19 Euroleague Basketball Adidas Next Generation Tournament Qualifier hosts, participants announced
The 17th edition of the Euroleague Basketball Adidas Next Generation Tournament will culminate at the Final Four in Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain next May. Long before that, fans can start enjoying the best that basketball's U18 generation has to offer with four qualifiers that pave the way to the Finals. The four winners of the qualifiers will each earn a ticket to be among the eight participants in Vitoria-Gasteiz.
Valencia Basket will host a qualifier in this 2018-19 edition, marking the first time that the three-time EuroCup champion club will have Europe's elite U18 players in its city. Munich, Kaunas and Belgrade will be the other hosts that decide which teams win and qualify to the Finals.
A total of 32 different U18 teams will participate across the four qualifiers. Each city will host eight teams competing in two groups of four during the first two days, with the first-, third-, fifth- and seventh-place games being held on the last day.
The Valencia qualifier will take place in L'Alqueria del Basket, which is the largest practice facility in Europe. A total of nine indoor and four outdoor courts can be found across the 15,000-square-meter, state-of-the-art installation that was inaugurated in September of 2017. A total of 49 different male and female teams, ranging from U12s all the way up to Valencia's EuroCup seniors, practice at L'Alqueria del Basket.
The first qualifier – in Valencia, Spain from December 28 to 30, 2018 – will feature 2016 champion FC Barcelona Lassa, 2013 champion Divina Seguros Joventut Badalona as well as LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne, Movistar Estudiantes Madrid, Porsche Ludwigsburg, USK Future Stars Prague, Valencia Basket and Virtus Bologna.
The second qualifier – in Munich, Germany from January 25 to 27, 2019 – will feature 2015 champion Real Madrid as well as ALBA Berlin, FC Bayern Munich, Fraport Skyliners Frankfurt, Maccabi Teddy Tel Aviv, Panathinaikos OPAP Athens, Partizan NIS Belgrade and ratiopharm Ulm.
The third qualifier – in Kaunas, Lithuania from February 8 to 10, 2019 – will feature three-time champion CSKA Moscow, two-time champions CFBB Paris, Rytas Vilnius and Zalgiris Kaunas, as well as DBA Copenhagen, Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar, Stellazzurra Rome and Torrons Vicens L'Hospitalet.
The fourth qualifier – in Belgrade, Serbia from February 22 to 24, 2019 – will feature 2014 champion Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade as well as Cedevita Zagreb, Fenerbahce Istanbul, Mega Bemax Belgrade, Olympiacos Piraeus, Petrol Olimpija Ljubljana, Spars Sarajevo and Umana Reyer Venice.
In honor of the 40th anniversary that the L'Hospitalet U18 Tournament will celebrate this season, Euroleague Basketball is collaborating with the local organizing committee to host elite U18 teams from across Europe. Torrons Vicens L'Hospitalet will also compete in the Kaunas qualifier to fight for a spot at the Finals in Vitoria-Gasteiz.
The alumni of the Euroleague Basketball U18 Tournament Finals make up a who's who of current stars. These include: Arturas Gudaitis and Nemanja Nedovic (AX Armani Exchange Olimpia Milan), Luka Doncic (Dallas Mavericks), Thomas Heurtel (FC Barcelona Lassa), Luigi Datome and Marko Guduric (Fenerbahce Istanbul), Alexey Shved (Khimki Moscow Region), Dario Saric (Philadelphia 76ers), Klemen Prepelic (Real Madrid) and Jonas Valanciunas (Toronto Raptors).
The newest future stars of Euroleague Basketball will take the spotlight, ready to demonstrate their talent, ambition and teamwork, in the Euroleague Basketball Adidas Next Generation Tournament.