Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz will have a different look this season as it rebuilds on the fly after losing fundamental pieces to other teams. However, the tried-and-true Baskonia character that the club, Coach Dusko Ivanovic and their fans effuse will make for excitement every time Baskonia takes the floor – and for a tough night for all of its opponents. Here are some of the must-see games that the team from Basque country will play during the regular season.
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Round 9: Another Spanish classic
As years have gone by, the duels between Baskonia and FC Barcelona have become a new Spanish classic in their own right. Their countless clashes in domestic competitions have included title games and that rivalry has permeated to the European stage. Last season Baskonia was swept by Barca in the regular season. To that, include that Coach Dusko Ivanovic spent almost three seasons in Barcelona as the bench boss and you get the perfect ingredients for a must-watch all-Spanish League affair.
Round 12: Facing a homegrown ace and his charges
Baskonia and Real Madrid go back a long way. Of course, they have faced each other countless times in domestic games. But their rivalry goes one step beyond that. Real coach Pablo Laso is a Vitoria native who played many years for Baskonia and this season, Los Blancos will have Thomas Heurtel, a player who had his breakout in the Basque club, as one of its star guards. As if that was not enough, Baskonia swept Real in the regular season in 2020-21, so expect the winningest club in European history to come back to Vitoria looking for revenge.
Round 23: Dusko meets the Greens again
Since Baskonia stole a playoff series in Game 3 in Athens in front of a packed OAKA in 2007, the rivalry between the Spanish team and Panathinaikos OPAP Athens has been a thing. Last season, Baskonia managed to sweep the Greens in the regular season, including a painful 82-97 road win in Athens that the Greek team will surely want retribution for. Not to mention that Coach Dusko Ivanovic fronted the Greens’ bench in 2014-15. The duel between these classic EuroLeague sides will be as interesting as ever.
Round 31: Playing with Henry, this time on opposing sides
An argument could be made that the most decisive player for Baskonia in the last couple of seasons was guard Pierria Henry. Last season he averaged 10.5 points and led the team with 7.3 assists in 34 regular-season games. He could not accomplish the goal to take the team to the playoffs but became a fan-favorite nonetheless. When this summer it was announced that he would join Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul, it was clear that the duel between these two teams would become a focal point as Henry will be sizing up against his old teammates.
Round 34: The eternal foe in European grounds
Baskonia and CSKA Moscow have developed a continental rivalry these last two decades that could stand up against any of the classics in the sport. Since 2002, these teams have played each other 43 times in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague alone with many playoff contests, including Final Four games twice. Last season, Baskonia and CSKA split wins in the regular season and in 2021-22 that European-forged rivalry will surely live new exciting chapters.
Seen at: Euroleague.net