Gameday Two Preview

12 November 2012

EUROCHALLENGE

EuroChallenge Regular Season Week 2 tips off on Tuesday evening with 13 games and concludes on Wednesday night with the remaining three encounters.

 

11. Steven Burtt (Tofas SC)
Steven Burtt and Tofas SC look to bounce back from two consecutive narrow defeats

GROUP A

Michelin ETHA Engomi (0-1) and Tofas Bursa (0-1) open proceedings in Group A and both need to win to put a bad week behind them.

ETHA suffered a heavy defeat (100-73) to KRKA in Slovenia in their EuroChallenge opener and returned home only to lose to Omonoia, 94-90, in the Cypriot league on Saturday.

Tofas lost 64-63 to Pinar Karsiyaka almost at the buzzer on Tuesday and then had more of the same on Saturday in the Turkish BEKO LIGI, succumbing 67-66 to Turk Telekom, again at home.

At 19:00 CET on Tuesday fellow Turkish side Pinar Karsiyaka (1-0) go up against KRKA Novo Mesto (1-0) in the Game of the Week, broadcast live on FIBA Europe TV.

 

GROUP B

The two teams that won at home on the opening day are playing on the road on Wednesday.

After grinding out two consecutive home wins by a five-point margin in the EuroChallenge and the VTB league based on their good defence, Krasnye Krylia (1-0) travel to Romania.

Their hosts CSU Asesoft Ploiesti (0-1) score 84.7 points on average in the domestic league and their lower mark this season has been the 67 points in their Tuesday defeat to Joensuun Kataja (1-0).

The Finnish side travel to Cyprus to face local league leaders Keravnos (0-1), who have not suffered a setback this season other than their Tuesday defeat in Samara.

Both teams were involved in high-scoring contests at the weekend and won. The hosts outlasted Pizza Express Apollon in overtime, 91-88, and Kataja beat Lapua 101-96.

 

GROUP C

In an all-Swedish clash where the opponents know each other pretty well, Norrköping Dolphins (0-1) welcome Södertälje Kings (1-0) on Tuesday.

The two teams met in Södertälje on the opening day of the domestic league and the Kings prevailed 70-67 behind an eye-popping performance by Toni Bizaca.

The Croat forward scored 30 points on 10-of-17 shooting from the floor and will no doubt be looking forward to facing the Dolphins again.

Also on Tuesday, BK Ventspils (1-0) will be playing their 13th official game this season between Latvian league, Baltic league and EuroChallenge.

The Latvians have hardly put a foot wrong so far, losing only one contest, and their latest game was a comfortable 82-62 home win over Liepaja at the weekend.

In Tampereen Pyrintö (0-1), they are going up against an opponent with a record very similar to theirs, who will be playing at home.

The Finns are top of their domestic league with a 9-1 record and the 74-68 defeat in Sweden in the EuroChallenge opener was their only other setback this season.

 

20. Justin Ingram (Tartu Rock)

Justin Ingram top-scored for Tartu Rock in their EuroChallenge opener

GROUP D

Estonian league leaders Tartu Rock (0-1) are playing host to Romanian league joint leaders Gaz Metan Medias (1-0).

Tartu Rock are top of their group in the Baltic league as well, having lost only one game in all competitions prior to their narrow defeat in Yuzhne on Tuesday.

Ukrainian league joint leaders Khimik Yuzhne (1-0) are travelling to France to face Dijon (1-0) and take some comfort from the fact that Andre Harris, who dropped 32 on Gaz Metan Medias on the opening day of the EuroChallenge, only scored nine points at the weekend against Le Havre.

Dijon none the less won, 77-73, and are in good form, having put together a three-game winning streak for the first time this season.

 

GROUP E

Belgian Ethias league leaders Okapi Aalstar (1-0) are playing host to Romanian side BCMU Pitesti (0-1) in a contest where anything else than a home win would be considered a huge upset.

At the same time in the French capital Paris Levallois (1-0), who've had a good week with three consecutive victories between the French Pro A and the EuroChallenge, will also be looking to double their wins in the group when they go up against the other Belgian side, Belfius Mons-Hainaut (0-1).

Sean May is in great form for the Parisians, leading all scorers in Pro A with 21 points per game while Mons are coming off a heavy defeat at Oostende at the weekend, 81-54.

 

GROUP F

Interestingly, Szolnoki Olaj (0-1) will go up against a fellow Hungarian side for the first time this season on Tuesday, when they visit Lami-Véd Körmend (0-1).

It will be the fourth road game in a row for Szolnoki, who have not travelled well.

Their 17-point defeat at Oldenburg on the first day of the EuroChallenge Regular Season came between two heavy defeats in the Adriatic league, at Red Star Belgrade and at Olimpija Ljubljana.

Körmend however are not doing much better, slumping to a fifth defeat in seven games in the Hungarian league last Thursday, 97-80 at Marso NYKK.

EWE Baskets Oldenburg (1-0) meanwhile put in a very convincing defensive display on Sunday to defeat BBC Bayreuth 71-50 in the German BEKO Bundesliga and want to make it three out of three at home when they host BC Timisoara (1-0) to see who goes top of the group.

The Romanians are on the rise, following up their maiden win in the EuroChallenge with a 97-72 rout of Dinamo Bucharest at the weekend.

 

5. Aldo Curti (BCM Gravelines)
Aldo Curti and BCM Gravelines face fellow French team SLUC Nancy

GROUP G

The game between the two early leaders in the group is the all-French clash between SLUC Nancy (1-0) and Gravelines-Dunkerque (1-0).

The psychological factor might play a role as important as Nancy's home-court advantage, since Gravelines are in third place in Pro A while Nancy are bottom of the table and both know that they will meet again on Saturday, in the domestic league.

Tsmoki Mink (0-1) have had a lukewarm beginning in the Belarusian Premier League suffering their third defeat in six games on Friday, 87-61 at Sozh Gomel.

They see the home game to Pizza Express Apollon (0-1) as an opportunity to bounce back but the Cyrpiots are in even more dire need of a moral-boosting victory.

Apollon collapsed in the second half of their EuroChallenge opener against Nancy and have yet to get off the mark in their domestic league, suffering a heart-breaking overtime loss to Keravnos at the weekend.

 

GROUP H

Armia's (0-1) defeat at Hapoel in the EuroChallenge was the first this season and the Georgian outfit are eager to not let this become a habit.

On Tuesday they are at home to Port of Antwerp Giants (0-1), who returned to winning ways at the weekend with a 63-55 victory over Leuven Bears in the Belgian Ethias League.

Gregory Thondique posted a double-double of 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Giants.

Telekom Baskets Bonn (1-0) play host to Hapoel Holon (1-0) on Wednesday, in one of the most interesting encounters of the second day of the Regular Season that will determine who stays undefeated in the group.


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