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Navarro / PHOTO: ÀLEX CAPARRÓS-FCB.

This Friday morning marked the beginning of the 2012/13 Euroleague competition. The continental basketball tournament held the group stage draw this morning - the Euroleague is scheduled to close out the year in May of 2013 in London, host city of the Final Four.

Barça Regal, one of the four top seeded teams in the group stage, drew Group D and will face off against CSKA Moscow, Partizan Belgrade, Lietuvos Rytas, Brose Baskets and Besiktas Istambul in the first stage of the continental competition.

The other three Liga Endesa representatives are Real Madrid, placed in Group A; Unicaja in Group B; and Caja Laboral in Group C. As usual, the tournament rules do not allow teams from the same league to face each other in this stage of the competition.

New rules for the Top 16 round

The four first qualified teams in the group stage will go on to a newly-formated Top 16 round. In the second phase of the competition, the teams will be divided up into two groups. The teams that finish in the top four spots of each group will go onto the best-of-five quarterfinal playoffs, the Final Four participants will come out of this round. Therefore, teams will play a total of 14 games in the Top 16 round, 8 more than last year.

Matches of Friday

The executive director of the Euroleague, Jordi Bertomeu, announced another change to this year’s competition. Matches will be played on Friday this year as opposed to last season’s usual Wednesday fixtures. “We want Friday to be basketball day, a day where whole families can attend the arenas,” said Bertomeu. The rest of the changes to the competition have to do with the rules of the game. The goal is to make the matches more fluid and attractive. These proposals, however, must be ratified by FIBA.

All the groups

Group A
Panathinaikos
Real Madrid
Khimki Moscow
Fenerbahçe Ulker
Union Olimpija
Team from the qualifying round

Group B
Maccabi Tel Aviv
Montepaschi
Alba Berlín
Unicaja
Asseco Prokom
Elna Chalon

Group C
Olympiacos
Caja Laboral
Anadolu Efes
Zalgiris Kaunas
Emporio Armani
Cedevita Zagreb

Group D
Barça Regal
CSKA Moscow
Partizan Belgrad
Lietuvos Rytas
Brose Baskets
Besiktas Istanbul


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