Basketball Champions League – Can Antwerp deliver a Loss to AEK?


The Basketball Champions League (BCL) has begun its third season and with no disappointment at all… I am astonished at the level of organization as well as the quality of the team performances. Aside from the Euroleague it has become a major contributing pan-european league that has allowed all spectators and enthusiasts of the game to see value on the court.

This post is a brief look at a matchup that’ll takes place Tuesday 20th of November 2018 between Telenet Giants Antwerp and AEK Athens.

The last time these two teams faced eachother was back in ’65 when AEK had the upper hand and won both the home and away games in European competition. Yet things are way more different now than they ever have been. There are so many developments that both Greek and Belgian basketball have taken steps on improving its worth a deeper look into this matchup.

A resource you will definitely find good use for that I recently have been making use of myself too with the work I do called NEWSTATS.EU is a great landing site for any European level competition statistical and analytical information. Certain parts of this analysis I took from their insights and am elaborating therefore…

Facts on the matchup:

  • AEK have managed to win the last 5 games that they have competed in the BCL regular season so far… its historically their longest win streak
  • So far during this regular season Antwerp have been good behind the 3 point line… they have been averaging +11 points per game and its a major factor in their game strategy…
  • AEK will face a Belgian team only for the 2nd time in BCL history aside from Spirou whom they beat back in the 16/17 season (both games were +20 diff games)
  • Ismael Bako has been a major factor this season for Antwerp over the last 3 games averaging +14 points and 10 rebounds per game… a great double double machine (based on 3 game average)… (I’d be remiss if I did not mention that Ismael had a very good off-season PT with Elite Athletes)
  • Vince Hunter  has been a dynamo for AEK in terms of point production… especially his last 3 games he has been above the 24 point mark and overall throughout the season he as +17 points in around +25 minutes to me as an analyst however his rebounding of +7 rebounds a game and is EFF of +20 says much much more… below is a short highlight of his abilities during this season:


Stats Preview:

As a mentee of Dean Oliver I will all too well take the Four Factors of both sides into account hence when looking at these here is what comes out (courtesy of


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A brief note to take into account when looking at the above is that both teams convert well at the freethrow line in similar free throw rates… they both also are above the +25% mark when it comes to team Offensive Rebounding which is the BCL average…

A Key Player to take notice of!!!

To me a major part that can turn Antwerp into winners out if this matchup can come from Ismael Bako

He brings a very unique flavor to the table… First time I saw this young man was at the 2017 Adidas EuroCamp tournament and he impressed me highly… Since then I have seen glimpses of him improving through Joerik Michiels – EA and Elite Athlete where he spends off-season

This big man can jump over to any European level team and make an impact…

One point I would like to mention is that while he has the adaptability to make a team good… in order for himself and a good team to be great his shooting beyond the mid range game can improve drastically…

He does work on his ball handling skills and has a good soft touch however his shot mechanics behind the line need work…

End Notes and some added stats

My general take on this matchup is that Antwerp can pull an upset against AEK…

  • Antwerp have the better range behind the line 3point shooting
  • When looking at the pace between two of the teams Antwerp play at a +76 pace while AEK play at +74
  • Both teams play with +70 possessions per game atleast so far in the regular season so the team that turns the ball and rebounds and converts more will effectively seek the “W” easier…


Antwerp vs. AEK

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