The 2015 continental champion, U18 Real Madrid, returns to Bavaria this week looking to defend its title in the Euroleague Basketball Adidas Next Generation Tournament Munich. If successful, Madrid will book a ticket to the ANGT Finals for a sixth consecutive year.
Looking to stop Madrid from qualifying in the tournament, which runs from Friday through Sunday, will be quartet of German sides – host U18 FC Bayern Munich, U18 ALBA Berlin, U18 Fraport Skyliners Frankfurt and U18 ratiopharm Ulm – as well as U18 Maccabi Teddy Tel Aviv of Israel, U18 Panathinaikos OPAP Athens of Greece, and U18 Partizan NIS Belgrade of Serbia.
The eight teams are split into two groups of four and will play a round-robin style format within each group at the Audi Dome in Munich. The group winners will face off on Sunday for the ANGT Munich title and join ANGT Valencia winner U18 Valencia Basket as the second team qualified for the ANGT Finals in Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain in May. The second-placed team from each group in Munich will play for third place, the third-placed teams for fifth place and the fourth-placed teams for seventh place, also on Sunday.
Group A includes host team Bayern, Maccabi, Partizan and Skyliners. Bayern is playing in the ANGT for the sixth straight season and hosting a qualifying tournament for the second year in a row after having played previously in Rome, Kaunas, Belgrade and Coin from 2014 to 2017. Last season Bayern became the first German team to reach the championship game of a qualifier, but ended up losing to Madrid for a 2-2 record. Bayern was later given a wild card for the ANGT Finals, where it went 0-3. Maccabi is back in the ANGT after missing out last season. The Israeli powerhouse was seventh at ANGT Belgrade in 2017 after losing in the semifinals of ANGT L'Hospitalet in 2016. Partizan has been a staple of the ANGT Belgrade tournament but now comes to Munich after reaching and losing the ANGT Belgrade final to host team U18 Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade in 2012, 2015 and 2018. Skyliners will be playing in the ANGT for the second time after going winless in Kaunas in 2017.
Group B is topped by Madrid and also includes ALBA, Panathinaikos and Ulm. Madrid took the ANGT Munich crown last season after winning the qualifying tournaments in Coin in 2017 and L'Hospitalet in 2015 and 2016. The Spanish giant won the continental trophy in 2015 thanks to Luka Doncic. Its loss to Ulm last season in Munich snapped a 21-game winning streak in ANGT qualifying games, dating back to the final of the 2013 ANGT L'Hospitalet against U18 Divina Seguros Joventut Badalona. ALBA returns to Munich, where the team finished third last year, matching the club's placing from ANGT Belgrade in 2015, which was followed by a fifth-place showing in Belgrade in 2016 and sixth place in L'Hospitalet in 2017. Panathinaikos will appearing in the competition for just the second time after going winless in L'Hospitalet in 2017. Ulm will also be playing for a second time, and the second time in Munich, after going 2-2 last season for seventh place, including the aforementioned win over eventual ANGT Munich winner U18 Real Madrid.