Last 16 Week Five Preview

21.02.2011

EuroChallenge

6. Matej Rojc (KRKA)
KRKA Novo Mesto are coming from a big road win in Belgium, but memories of their 20-point defeat in Izmir are still fresh

Maybe Pinar Karsiyaka coach Hakan Demir was on to something when he spoke after last week's 86-80 defeat to Antwerp Giants in the EuroChallenge.

It was the first home setback in Europe for Karsiyaka this season and Demir said the two-week lay-off in the competition had not done his team any favors.

The loss at Karsiyaka followed 94-74 and 94-71 demolitions of KRKA Novo Mesto and Dexia Mons-Hainaut, respectively, in Izmir.

"My team got away from its game rhythm," Demir said.

Tuesday's opponents KRKA Novo Mesto had better be prepared to face a Karsiyaka that is back in its rhythm because when they squared off against Turkish heavyweights Efes Pilsen over the weekend, they were very good.

Getting 23 points from Andre Smith and 15 from Osiris Eldridge, Karsiyaka beat Efes 79-71.

"We wanted to play again as soon as possible after the demoralizing game (versus Antwerp)," Demir said.

Karsiyaka are in sixth place in the Turkish league.

Nineteen-year-old center Furkan Aldemir played more than 26 minutes on Saturday for Karsiyaka.

After getting hurt shortly before Christmas, he missed several weeks with an injury and had made only a brief appearance last week against Antwerp.

Meanwhile, KRKA followed up their big road win at Dexia Mons-Hainaut with a 78-66 triumph in the Adriatic League over Igokea.

The Slovenian outfit outscored the hosts 28-9 in the first quarter to take command for good.

The victory has left the club with a 14-7 record - the same mark as defending champions and league leaders Partizan Belgrade.

Karsiyaka and KRKA are both 3-1 in the EuroChallenge Last 16.

6. Caleb Green (BC Oostende)
BC Telenet Oostende have already booked their ticker to the Quarter-Finals but they'd be doing either Prostejov or Zadar a big favour if they defeated Lokomotiv

Antwerp didn't look like the same team that won at Karsiyaka in their weekend game in Belgium.

They crashed to an 89-61 defeat at Generali Okapi Aalstar.

The difference in the contest was the long-range shooting.

The Giants were just one of 13 from behind the arc while Generali Okapi Aalstar hit 11 three-balls from 24 attempts, including Chris Copeland's four-of-seven eruption.

Copeland finished with 22 points.

The Giants host Dexia Mons-Hainaut in their EuroChallenge Last 16 game on Tuesday with both sides 1-3.

Also in Belgium, EuroChallenge Group L high-fliers Telenet BC Oostende fell 83-73 at Belgacom Liege Basket.

Unlike Antwerp, Oostende hit nine of 22 shots from long range but still fell.

Belgacom made 27 of 44 (61.4%) shots inside the arc.

Oostende (4-0) must travel to Krasnodar to face Lokomotiv Kuban (2-2) in the EuroChallenge on Tuesday night.

The Belgian side is 4-0 in the Last 16 and has already booked a Quarter-Final place.

Lokomotiv will try to bounce back from their 81-76 defeat at BC Khimki in Russia's PBL over the weekend.

BK Prostejov and BC Zadar meet in a battle of 1-3 sides in the other EuroChallenge Group L game.

Prostejov got 20 points from Benas Veikalas and won 77-73 at Ostrava on Saturday, while Zadar slumped to a 78-74 home defeat to Buducnost.

One of the teams in EuroChallenge Group K, Sport Lisboa e Benfica (1-3), will be without a key man in the coming games.

The club has announced that veteran forward Michael Williams has an injury that will sideline him for several weeks.

On Tuesday, they play at BCM Gravelines (4-0).

The French side has its ticket to the Quarter-Finals already punched.

BK Ventspils have the inside track to second place in Group K with a 2-2 record as they host Norrkoping Dolphins (1-3).

The Latvian club beat Perlas 65-61 in the Baltic Basketball League on Saturday. Ventspils lead the BBL with a 15-4 record.

In EuroChallenge Group A, Spartak Saint Petersburg (4-0) and Lukoil Academic (3-1) will meet. Both have already sealed their places in the Quarter-Finals of the competition.

Maccabi Haifa (1-3) and Barak Netanya (0-4) go up against each other in the pool's other game.


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