Pardubice, BC NN Feel The Pressure

24 January 2012

Maurice Hampton (BK Pardubice)
 Pardubice will need their top scorer, shooting guard Maurice Hampton, to be in top form on Wednesday if they are to claim their first win in the Last 16

BK Pardubice and BC Nizhny Novgorod battle for their EuroChallenge lives on Wednesday night when the final two Last 16 games of this week are staged.

Both sides are 0-2 going into the Group K clash.

Telekom Baskets will meet Szolnoki Olaj in Group J in Wednesday's other game.

Pardubice and BC NN have not played badly in the Last 16.

If anything, the clubs are unlucky not to have at least one victory.

BC NN came ever so close to sending their game at Fuenlabrada to overtime but Ivan Paunic's buzzer-beating three-pointer was waved off when the Serbian was called for travelling.

BC NN then returned home to Russia last week and fought hard against Besiktas but fell, 75-64.

Pardubice had pushed Besiktas, who are undefeated in the EuroChallenge with eight victories, until the last minute but lost 78-70.

Last week, the Czech team carried a seven-point advantage into the fourth quarter at home to Fuenlabrada but ran out of steam and was outscored 21-8 over the last 10 minutes and lost 79-73.

Jan Slowiak has done a good job of having Pardubice ready to play in the EuroChallenge and he knows they desperately need a win.

"If we lose this game," he said, "we can play out the rest of EuroChallenge games with only task of leaving the best possible impression.

"If we win this game, we will maintain our hopes of advancing.

"We expect this game will be full of hard-nosed battles because the Russian team plays physical basketball.

"Therefore, we have to be tough in one-on-one situations. Also we have to stop their fast break."

BC NN have good players, and there is no way Slowiak and his charges are going to underestimate them.

"Novgorod might seem to be in the shadow of the other two teams with big reputations in our group," Slowiak said.

"But if we take a look at their good performances in the VTB league, they deserve a lot of credit.

"We expect just as difficult a game as we had against Besiktas and Fuenlabrada."


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