ANDl ACB basketball course raise the curtain this weekend with the dispute of the Super Cup, the first official tournament of the season that for the second consecutive year hosts Tenerife, with four applicants of the first magnitude: The Barcelona attends as champion of the Endesa League and the Copa del Rey, the real Madrid as champion of the Endesa Super Cup, the Lenovo Tenerife as host, and Valencia Basket as third classified league.

The Barcelona part as a favorite after having conquered the League and the King’s Cup last season. Despite having detached from important players such as Adam Hanga and Victor Claver, the Catalans maintain a very solid block, underpinned by the arrivals of Sertac Sanli, one of the best centers in Europe, but falls in this tournament, two former Zalgiris as Nigel Hayes and Rokas Jokubaitis to those who Jasikevicius knows well about his past in Kaunas, and the ex-Madridista Nico Laprovittola. A great template with great specific weight of his stellar trident: Nikola Mirotic, Cory Higgins and Brandon Davies.

Real Madrid, champion of the last three editions

The Real Madrid It would be labeled a favorite if we only stick to the precedents, because they won the last three editions of the Super Cup and they have in their showcases seven, one more than Barça. The whites used to start the seasons very well, helped by a consolidated bloc maintained for years and that hardly needed adaptation. But that premise changes this course, with four important additions still in need of filming: the ex-blues Thomas Heurtel and Adam Hanga, in addition to Nigel Williams-Goss and Guerschon Yabusele.

Yabusele, now a Madrid player, with ASVEL pursued by Barça Mirotic.
Yabusele, now a Madrid player, with ASVEL pursued by Barça Mirotic.

Never was the Real Madrid so French, with four players from the neighboring country on the payroll: Poirier, Causeur, Yabusele and Heurtel. Although the most decisive player of the white team, a priori, will continue to be Walter Tavares, recently landed in Spain after playing the Afrobasket with the selection of Cape Verde. The roles are well defined in a template in which two unknowns persist: the status of Trey thompkins, of which there has been no news since he underwent knee surgery at the end of the season, and of Jaycee Carroll, who remains in the United States without answering Madrid’s renewal offer.

The whites will be measured today in the second semifinal (22.00 h #Vamos) yet Lenovo Tenerife that has not stopped growing in recent seasons and he has established himself on his own merits in the elite of Spanish basketball. Has conquered the Basketball Champions League and two Intercontinental Cups and he is already a fixture in the playoffs of the Endesa League (he fell in the semis against the Barça forcing the third game) and in the final phase of the Copa del Rey, where he was eliminated in the semifinals by the Real Madrid (85-79), who also defeated him in the semis of the Super Cup (79-92).

A reinforced Lenovo Tenerife that goes to more

The people of Tenerife have been reinforced with signings of Joan Sastre, Kyle Wiltjer, Sean Smith and Tobias Borg, this confirmed two days ago. And they maintain the hard core that has given them so much success, led by Georgi Shermadini and Marcelinho Huertas, the fantastic pair of Lenovo, along with players hired as Aaron Doornekamp. Sasu Salin, Bruno Fitipaldo or a Fran Guerra that every time it goes to more. A great cast available to Txus Vidorreta, one of the great people in charge of this qualitative leap of the team.

The Bilbao man made it clear last year on several occasions that Euroleague teams were hard to surprise and that they only “won each other”. But if there is a tournament conducive to surprises, this is it, with the big favorites still in the coupling phase and with a lower guard than normal. He knows it well, that won this trophy with Gran Canaria in 2016.

Vidorreta, Lenovo Tenerife coach, and Laso, his Real Madrid counterpart.
Vidorreta, Lenovo Tenerife coach, and Laso, his Real Madrid counterpart.ACB PHOTO

And also him Valencia, which is measured at Barcelona in the first semifinal (7:00 p.m., #Let’s go). The taronjas conquered the Super Cup in 2017 and in this edition, already with Joan Peñarroya on the bench, he aspires to fight for all the titles. To the Bojan Dubljevic, Louis Labeyrie, Sam Van Rossom or Klemen Prepelic reinforcements from Nenad Dimitrijevic, Víctor Claver, Xabi López-Arostegui and Jasiel Rivero (although this one loses the Super Cup due to injury), which makes it a fearsome team.