In their first FIBA Europe League game of 2005, BC Kyiv will be hoping for a second victory over Hapoel Galil Elyon. Kyiv recorded a 101-87 victory over Galil Elyon in the first meeting between the two sides in Ukraine.
It looks as though Kyiv won’t be able to rely on a full strength team for the road trip. Team captain Edmunds Valeiko and youngster Olexiy Pecherov are suffering from a stomach virus, while center Ioannis Giannoulis is questionable for the game with a sore ankle.
To fill in the gaps and bring in some experience BC Kyiv have signed former Croatian National team’s captain Veljko Mrsic (33 years old, 202 cm, 100 kg). This all-around player is expected to give Kyiv some much need help off the bench. The Ukrainian vice-champion had an opening on their roster after Victor Herasymchuk, who had been acquired from Pulsar Rivne last summer, was moved to Kharkiv Politechnik.
In an interview with BC Kyiv’s official web site, head coach Renato Pasquali remarked on the difference in playing at home and away, commenting that on the road it will be difficult to score over 100 points and to shoot as well as in the first game (53% from the floor).
Therefore, BC Kyiv will need to improve their defense and try to limit Galil Elyon’s fast-break game, which was a factor in Kyiv.
Pasquali also singled out Moshe MIzrahi, Lior Eliyahu and Christian Dalmau as Galil Elyon’s most dangerous players.
Oded Kattash, Galil Elyon head coach:
"This was a much needed win for us and I value it more than the home win over defending FIBA Europe League Champions UNICS. BC Kyiv are a very strong and balanced team and right now the two points that we’ve earned can be considered as our main success so far this season."
Lior Eliyahu, Galil Elyon forward:
"We are very happy with the result of the game, since we managed to avenge our loss in Kyiv.
"Yes we lost by 50 points in our last FIBA Europe League game to UNICS, but this doesn’t mean anything: we are a young team and every game makes us smarter and gives us much needed international experience."
Victor Berezhnoi, BC Kyiv assistant coach:
"Our team coped very well with the offensive plan, but our defense left much to be desired. In my opinion, the reason for our loss is the fact that in this game no BC Kyiv player managed to inspire the team."