The Euroleague Adidas Next Generation Tournament returns to Patras with the second qualifying tournament of the season taking place in western Greece from February 10-12. Former champion U18 Joventut Badalona headlines an eight-team field that also includes two debutants while U18 LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne will be looking to take first place in its qualifier for a second consecutive season. The winner of Sunday’s first-place game will grab the second ticket to the ANGT Finals, where it will join ANGT Munich winner U18 Real Madrid at the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Final Four in Kaunas from May 19-21, 2023.
The eight teams are broken down into two groups with each team taking on the others in its group round-robin style. The winners of the two groups will square off in the first-place game. The breakdown of the teams is as follows: Group A has host side U18 Promitheas Patras, 2013 continental champion Joventut and debutants U18 Cholet Basket from France and Germany’s U18 RASTA Vechta. Group B consists of French side ASVEL, U18 Olympiacos Piraeus of Greece, Italian team U18 Orange1 Bassano and the U18 Next Generation Team Patras, which will be coached by Petteri Koponen.
The big name in Group A is Joventut, which has played in the competition every season since 2007-08 and is making its 16th appearance overall. The last time Joventut won a qualifying tournament was ANGT L’Hospitalet in 2017-18 when it beat U18 FC Barcelona in the first-place game. After third place finishes at ANGT Valencia and ANGT Kaunas, Joventut lost to Barcelona in the 2020-21 ANGT Valencia first-place game. Last season Joventut took third place at the ANGT Varese. Promitheas will be playing in the ANGT for the fourth time, taking eighth place at the 2017-18 ANGT L’Hospitalet and sixth place at 2019-20 ANGT Munich followed by eighth place without a victory as ANGT Patras host team last season. The other two teams in Group A are first-timers Cholet and Vechta.
The team with the most ANGT appearances in Group B is ASVEL, which will be playing in the competition for the ninth time overall and sixth in a row. The French club had back-to-back showings in 2008-09 and 2009-10 and has been back every year since 2017-18. Despite finishing sixth at the 2020-21 ANGT Valencia, ASVEL was invited to the 2021 ANGT Finals and lost to eventual champion U18 Real Madrid by just 2 points. Last season was ASVEL’s big breakthrough, taking first place at the ANGT Belgrade. But in the ANGT Finals, ASVEL lost 83-82 in the second game to the Next Generation Select Team to miss out on the ANGT Championship Game. Olympiacos is playing in the competition for the seventh time overall and second straight. After playing in 2005-06 and 2006-07, the Reds returned in 2017-18 and took fourth place at ANGT Munich. That was followed by third place at ANGT Belgrade and sixth place at ANGT Valencia. After not playing in 2020-21, Olympiacos finished seventh at the ANGT Patras last season. Bassano is back for a second straight season. The emerging Italian program went winless at ANGT Ljubljana - albeit with two losses by 4 points or fewer in its debut. The fourth team is the NGT Patras team.