The finalist of the previous edition and an ambitious five teams – all part of Group B

The finalist of the previous edition and an ambitious five teams – all part of Group B

Group B of the Alpe Adria Cup is no less attractive, featuring the finalist from the previous edition and many ambitious teams that are looking to reach the Final Four.

Vienna enters the competition as a finalist of the previous edition of the Alpe Adria Cup, runner-up of Austria and also finalist of the Austrian Super Cup. Although the squad has been significantly changed compared to the previous season, the experienced team has the same ambition as a year ago, to finish among the top four of the competition.

“We are excited to participate in the Alpe Adria Cup 2023/2024 edition. Playing international games with strong opponents from other European countries provides us with a lot of experience and improves the level of quality for both players and coaches, as well as for management and the club. From my team this season, I expect maximum effort through the practices and also maximum trust between the players themselves. For sure, we will grow through the season. Motivation is the key. The effort on the court will give us all answers. I have full trust in my players, and I have to also thank the management for putting their trust in me as head coach,“ stated the coach of Vienna Hrvoje Radanović.

A big and pleasant revival last season was the Romanian side Timisoara, who were not far away from participating in the Final Four. They currently have two league losses in a row, but that doesn’t mean that they won’t be aiming for the top in the Alpe Adria Cup.

“Alpe Adria Cup will be a more balanced and demanding competition, primarily because we are now in a group of six teams, not four like last season. There will be four more matches, two of which are not short trips. It is a challenge for us. Dubrava is a powerful and young team, but particularly mature. It has numerous basketball players between the ages of 21 and 24 who are in the sights of major teams. Some are sent there to get minutes on the field or to return to teams that play in more important competitions. They have a squad with very good height, with three players over 2.10 meters. A lot of work awaits us, and the course in the Alpe Adria Cup will not be as accessible as in the last season. In terms of our game, we asked the guys to increase the intensity and the level of aggression, in a sporting sense, and to continue to work, as we have done so far. Apart from the unfortunate outcome of the match with Corona Brasov – I can’t even call it a syncope – I couldn’t say that I had any reason to worry. And the medical problems affected our performance in the game with Brașov, and we still have some of these problems,“ thinks coach of Timisoara Dragan Petričević.

Kolín, a quarter-finalist from the previous season, will also play Vienna again in the same group. After a big summer change of players, the team is doing better than expected in the Czech league, currently in 5th position.

“With the start of the new season comes for us not only the domestic league Kooperativa NBL but also the Alpe Adria Cup. It is a very prestigious competition, and we are glad we can be part of it. Our first game is played on October 18 at our home ground. We want to represent our hometown of Kolín and, moreover, whole Czech basketball as best as we can. We want to achieve the best possible result. We have very good opponents in our group, but we do not fear them. We will do everything to fulfill our goal of advancing from the group stage,“ commented Predrag Benaček, coach of Kolín.

Also back in the competition is Slovenia’s Ilirija, which was fighting for participation in the ABA league. This plan didn’t work out, but they want to achieve even more in the Alpe Adria Cup. The squad is more experienced, which gives it an advantage going into the group stage.

“Alpe Adria Cup season is starting. It’s our third season in this competition. AAC is getting stronger with every season. We are excited for the start. The new system is bringing more regular season games, and with that, our young core will get a chance to prove themselves and get experience on the international stage. We will do our best and hope to get the most out of this year’s international season,“ declared the coach of Ilirija Stipe Modrić.

Croatia’s Dubrava is definitely planning to improve as well, and has been filling out its team accordingly in the summer. “The new season of AAC is starting, and we are ready for it. We created a younger team than last year, but in my opinion, they are even more talented and aggressive, so we expect one step further to make it in that league compared with last year. Our group is very strong with a lot of good teams, and we will have a challenging season from beginning to end, but we are ready for that,“ said Dubrava’s coach Jeronimo Šarin before the start of AAC.

Czech Olomoucko closes Group B.

Schedule of the first round of the Alpe Adria Cup Group B (Wednesday 18 October):

17:45 h: BC GEOSAN Kolín – BC Vienna

18:00 h: SCM Mozzart Bet Timisoara – KK Dubrava

Photo: Lukáš Droppan