ANGT L'Hospitalet tips off Monday with eight teams from four countries

Jan 01, 2016 by David Hein, Print
ANGT L'Hospitalet tips off Monday with eight teams from four countries

The second ticket for the 2015-16 Euroleague Basketball ADIDAS NEXT GENERATION TOURNAMENT Finals in Berlin next spring is up for grabs when the EB ANGT Qualifying Tournament - Torneig de Bàsquet Junior Ciutat de L'Hospitalet tips off on Monday. The eight-team field in the Barcelona suburb features a number of top teams, including reigning champion U18 Real Madrid, 2013 winner U18 FIATC Joventut Badalona, 2008 and 2013 runner-up U18 FC Barcelona Lassa and 2003 runner-up U18 Maccabi Teddy Tel Aviv.

The ANGT L’Hospitalet winner will join U18 Mega Leks Belgrade at the ANGT Finals from May 12-15 at the 2016 Turkish Airlines Euroleague Final Four in Berlin, Germany. The ANGT L’Hospitalet is second in a series of four ANGT qualifying tournaments that will be played across the European continent over the next two months. The third event, the EB ANGT Qualifying Tournament – Kaunas takes place on January 15-17 with the EB ANGT Qualifying Tournament – Belgrade running February 26-28.

The field at the ANGT L’Hospitalet has seen two changes compared to last season with U18 ASVEL Lyon Villeurbanne and U18 Galatasaray Istanbul dropping out of the competition and Maccabi and U18 Brose Baskets Bamberg moving over from the ANGT Rome.

Reigning ANGT L’Hospitalet and ANGT Finals champion Real Madrid starts its defense of the crown in Group A along with U18 Union Olimpija Ljubljana, Joventut and Maccabi. Group B has Barcelona, U18 Baloncesto Seville, host U18 Torrons Vicens L’Hospitalet and Bamberg. The top two teams in the groups will face off in the semifinals with the winner of the final locking up a spot in the ANGT Finals.

Madrid enters the tournament with a nine-game ANGT winning streak and 20 victories in its last ANGT 22 games; it lost only the 2012-13 ANGT L’Hospitalet final against eventual champion Joventut and the 2013-14 ANGT Finals championship game against U18 Crvena Zvezda Telekom Belgrade. Madrid was undefeated last season and broke through for its first ANGT title by dethroning previous champion Zvezda.

Olimipja is at the ANGT L’Hospitalet for the fourth straight season. The Slovenian club went 1-3 in 2014-15 after reaching the semifinals in 2013-14 and losing to U18 Unicaja Malaga before finishing third. After two straight appearances in the ANGT Finals, Joventut finished fifth last season at the ANGT L’Hospitalet with a 2-2 record. Maccabi will be looking for its first ANGT victory since the 2012-13 season, when the Israeli club went 1-3 and beat L’Hospitalet. Maccabi was 0-4 at the ANGT Rome last season and did not take part in the competition in 2013-14.

The top team in Group B is Barcelona, which has not won the ANGT L’Hospitalet since 2010-11. Barcelona lost in the 2011-12 and 2014-15 ANGT L’Hospitalet finals; it won first four games last season. Seville is taking part in the competition for the fifth straight season. It went 2-2 last season losing to Barcelona in the ANGT L’Hospitalet semifinal. Seville won the ANGT Rome in 2013-14 after going 2-3 at the ANGT L’Hospitalet in both 2011-12 and 2012-13.

Torrons Vicens L’Hospitalet pulled off a rare victory last season, knocking off Galatasaray for its first win since beating Power Electronics during the 2009-10 ANGT L’Hospitalet. The victory snapped a 20-game losing streak. Bamberg is taking part in the competition for the seventh time in the last eight years. Last season the German team was 2-2 at the ANGT Rome and finished fourth. Bamberg returns to the ANGT L’Hospitalet after playing there in 2013-14 – and going 1-3. Bamberg played at the ANGT Rome in 2012-13 after competing at the ANGT Belgrade in 2008-09, 2009-10 and 2011-12.