Clash Of Styles In EuroChallenge Final

01 May 2010

One thing is absolutely guaranteed when Göttingen and Krasnye Krylia lock horns in the Final of EuroChallenge on Sunday night - Lokhalle will be absolutely bursting at the seams and ready to explode with delight should the Violets manage to clip the Redwings of Samara (watch And Then They Were Two here).

For those who might think it's a foregone conclusion after the momentum harvested by hometown Göttingen in the wake of their stunning reversal of fortune in the semi-final against Roanne - think again (watch An Expert's Opinion here).

John Patrick
Göttingen head coach John Patrick and his team will try to build on the amazing Lokhalle crowd again

If there is one thing Krasnye Krylia have done since day one of EuroChallenge it is to just keep winning against expectation and they will relish the role of party poopers and the team that smashes the dreams of the thousands of locals.

In fact on paper it is all set up to be a potential classic with two completely different rosters employing completely different approaches to the game but both equally as effective in the tournament.

Göttingen just ooze energy have an almost unrivalled verve to their run and gun game - they will continue to push the ball down the floor and offence will be at the top of their agenda. After all, they are the highest scorers in the competition and their energetic and high tempo approach is helped by their quota of relative youth within their ranks.

In stark contrast, Krasnye Krylia are a veteran team who will rely on trying to force Göttingen into a half-court game. Easier said than done but with former NBA man Ernest Bremer running the point, he will be in no hurry.

Experience is just the order of the day for the Russian club against the mixture of full and half court pressure defence employed regularly by the hosts.

On the topic of defence, while Göttingen remain the top scorers this season in EuroChallenge, Samara have the best defence and that just whets the appetite even more. Having held Scavolini Spar Pesaro to just 70 points, they showcased where their strengths lie.

Worryingly for Göttingen, the Redwings got the job done without a major contribution from the prolific Luis Flores an if he can weave his magic one final time in EuroChallenge then the hoards of fans decked out in purple and white could be left disappointed.

From a Göttingen perspective, all eyes will of course be on former Washington State man Taylor Rochestie after his spellbinding contribution in that pulsating and memorable game with Roanne. The playmaker will be up against Bremer and how that duel pans out could be pivotal in the context of determining who walks away with the silverware.

15. Luis Flores (Krasnye Krylia)
Luis Flores was not the topscorer for the redwings in the semi-final but reamains one of the best offensive payers in the competition

This EuroChallenge Final is likely to be determined by three key issues. Primarily tempo secondly, who controls the boards and thirdly, whether Krasnye Krylia look after the ball.

You sense that there will be no surprises in store and yet maybe it is genuinely Samara who have the biggest decisions to make. If they look after the ball and don't crumble under intense ball pressure, they will neutralise a lot of scores in transition which Göttingen just love.

Equally if they are patient, try to run 24 second offences and get good looks and can muscle on the offensive glass, this too could prevent Göttingen from pushing the ball down the floor.

Should the Redwings find any major success in these two areas, their chances of attaining control of the tempo of the game - the major factor bar none, then they could be in business.

However the one factor they will just have to deal with and accept they can't do much about is the magnificent Göttingen support. Passion will be pouring out once again from all sides of Lokhalle right from tip to buzzer.

That will set up one of the best atmospheres in EuroChallenge Final history and should the Violets prevail - perhaps also the biggest party in EuroChallenge history.


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