Surprise package Azovmash will look to pull of an upset this evening in Spain when they take on hosts Girona.
Here’s the breakdown of the title game.
Last Time Out: Azovmash pulled off an upset by beating Virtus Bologna 74-73, while Girona cruised to an 89-58 triumph over Estudiantes.
Head-to-Head: The sides are meeting for the first time this season.
Key Match-up: The shooting guards played key roles in each team’s win on Friday. Girona veteran Ariel McDonald scored a game-high 21 points, while Azovmash’s Panagiotis Liadellis had 24. The two will match-up against each other and will have to extend tremendous energy on both sides of the court.
Statistics: Azovmash will have to take care of the ball. They played almost flawlessly in the first half on Friday when the jumped out to a big lead. But in the third quarter, they committed nine turnovers and had just eight points. It is imperative that the Ukrainian giants avoid similar droughts against Girona …. On Friday, Girona had six players score eight points or more. Balance has been a trademark of Girona throughout the season (nine players average 7.0 ppg or more) and they will need more of that tonight.
X-Factor: It will be interesting to see how coaching affects the final game. Svetislav Pesic has won titles in the World Championship, EuroBasket and Euroleague. Rimas Girskis certainly doesn’t have the CV of Pesic (which isn’t an insult – not many can compare to the Serbian legend). But Girskis has done an exceptional job throughout the season for Azovmash and particularly on Friday when he calmed his team after they squandered a double-digit lead.
|Svetislav Pesic is looking for another European club competition.|
What It Means: Should Azovmash prevail, it will mark the first time a Ukrainian club would win a European club competition. …. Heavily favoured and playing at home, a Girona loss would come as quite a shock for Pesic and Co.
Speaking out: “The crowd and the players both need to be ready for the final. I really call on the fans to concentrate.” – Pesic.