In the early afternoon of Thursday, July 21 2016, the Basketball Champions League draw 2016/2017 was held. Four Italian teams will take part in the new FIBA competition – Sidigas Avellino, Banco di Sardegna Sassari, Umana Venezia and Openjobmetis Varese. General Manager, Claudio Coldebella and Marketing Manager, Luna Tovaglieri represented the Piazza Monte Grappa club at the draw. Coach Moretti’s Red & Whites will play against Portuguese Benfica in Qualification Round 1with the away at Lisbon and home at Varese. QR1 begins on Tuesday, September 27. In the event of a win in the first qualifying round, Openjobmetis will then play in QR2 against the Hungarian Szolnoki Olaj KK with the away at Varese and the home match at Szolnok. The second preliminary phase begins on Tuesday, October 4. In the event of a win at this stage, Openjobmetis will be placed in Group C of the regular season along with ASVEL (France), EWE Baskets (Germany), PAOK (Greece), Neptunas (Lithuania), Rosa Radom (Poland), Ventspils (Latvia) and one from Usak (Turkey), AEK (Cyprus) and Cluj (Romania). The regular season starts on Tuesday, October 18. In the event of elimination during the first or second qualifying round, Varese will still play in the FIBA Europe Cup.
Claudio Coldebella, General Manager, Openjobmetis Varese Basketball: «Doing another round will allow us to break the ice even earlier. We are aware of what happened recently in European basketball and feel privileged with the trust and appreciation that FIBA has shown us putting us up as this wild card for the Champions League. We will make our debut against Benfica, a team that represents the rapid playing style of Portuguese basketball. It will be a game full of pitfalls as well as being our first match of the season and we will have no way to look at how our opponents play. We will try to do our best by putting our heart and soul into it».