According to the website of the Italian Baseball and Softball Federation (FIBS), the groups of the 2017 European Champions Cup have been announced. Traditionally two of the three representatives of the IBL are in one group.
In the tournament that will host the best teams of Europe, the Dutch and Italian teams will be the clear favorites.
Where Curacao Neptunus was rather disappointed they had to face two IBL teams in their group in the 2016 edition, they now will face only one in their group.
Group A will contain:
Group B will contain:
L&D Amsterdam Pirates
ASD San Marino.
It is clear that group B is the toughest with the current European champion and two IBL teams in it. It is hard to predict who will advance to the semi finals but it may not be premature to say that the host club, Regensburg Legionaere, will not make it to the semis. The same can be said of Mainz and Rouen in group A.
But of course surprises cannot be ruled out. Notable fact is that group A only contains local champions, while there are no champions in group B.
As reigning European champion, L&D Amsterdam Pirates barely qualified for the tournament as the club managed to win the final game of the play offs by beating Vaessen Pioniers 8-5 and advanced to the Holland Series where the injury riddled team was beaten by Curacao Neptunus 4-2.
ASD San Marino was qualified automatically as sole representative of the tiny state on the Italian peninsula. Fortitudo Bologna qualified by winning the Italian pennent as it beat ASD Rimini Pirates 4 games t0 2. Regensburg Legionaere and Mainz Athletics qualified by reaching the German championship series in which Mainz beat Regensburg 3 games to 1.
The French representative, Rouen Huskies, qualified by winning the French championship by beating the Templiers de Sénart 3 games to 1.
The European Champions Cup will be played in Regensburg (GER) from June 7 through June 11.