TV Game Preview: Pitesti v Paris

05 November 2012
EuroChallenge Opening Day LIVE - Watch the Group E clash between BCMU Pitesti and Paris-Levallois on FIBA Europe TV, Tuesday at 18:30 CET

If BCMU Pitesti and Paris-Levallois have one thing in common, at least at these early stages of the season, it's that they feel more comfortable and tend to win in high-scoring games.

The two teams go into their EuroChallenge season-opener as the third most productive outfits in their respective national leagues, with Pitesti scoring 84.9 points per contest in the Romanian LNB and the Parisians 79.4 in the French Pro A.

On the Paris-Levallois side this is partially explained by the fact their starting point guard is the blazingly fast France international Andrew Albicy, who is naturally gravitating towards an up-tempo offence.

The 1.78m playmaker is accompanied in the backcourt by sharp-shooting Antoine Diot, another former European champion with France at youth level.

When it comes to Pitesti on the other hand, it's worth noting that the Romanian league in general is a competition were low-scoring games are a rarity, with nine of the 16 teams in the league scoring over 80 points on average during the first seven games.


Pitesti are currently in seventh place in their domestic league with a 3-4 record, having won all three of their games at Trivale Sporting Hall with an average of 97.3 points on offence (just 75.5 points away from home), a fact that might a cause for concern for Paris head coach Christophe Denis.

Veteran Pankracije Barac is leading the team in scoring with 15.1 points per game.

The Croatian shooting guard is hitting 55.6 percent of his shots from two-point range but is only shooting 16.7 percent from behind the three-point arc.

The Romanian side does not rely much on their perimeter shooting anyway, with the ball often going inside to the frontcourt duo that is the barometer of the team.

Center Damien Kinloch, arguably last season's MVP for Pitesti, averages 12.0 points and 7.3 rebounds while power forward Marcel Jones has 13.3 points, 7.1 rebounds and 2.3 steals per contest so far.

Romanian international Octavian Calota usually comes off the bench but plays big minutes, just like backup center Drasko Albijanic.

The point guard contributes 11.9 points and 2.6 assists per game, while the Bosnian big man adds 11.1 points and 4.7 rebounds.

Paris-Levallois, who are seventh in Pro A with a 3-2 record, could hardly be happier with the choice they made in the summer when they were looking to bolster their frontline.

Sean May, the American center with NBA experience who won the Turkish league title with Fenerbahce in 2011, is leading the team in scoring (20.2 ppg) and rebounds (6.8 rpg).

Diot is the second leading scorer with 16.8 points per contest and power forward Jawad Williams contributes 15.4 points and 2.8 steals.

The Tuesday Group E opener will be the first game this season outside their domestic leagues for both sides, as they were among the teams that qualified directly to the EuroChallenge Regular Season.


Antoine Diot - Le Mans
Guard Antoine Diot is one of the leaders ofParis-Levallois

Pitesti are not only playing at home but also had two more days than Paris to rest and prepare for their EuroChallenge première.

The Tuesday clash hosts were playing on the road and fell 82-76 to fellow EuroChallenge side BC Timisoara on Thursday.

Barac was on a rare off day and Pitesti suffered the consequences, despite an excellent display by their frontcourt players.

Marcel Jones had 20 points and six rebounds, Drasko Albijanic finished with 14 points and four boards and Damien Kinloch added 13 points and corralled seven rebounds.

Paris-Levallois were in action on Saturday and took a key victory at Boulazac, 74-71.

The success was particularly important as the Parisians were facing a mini-crisis after two consecutive losses, with coach Denis bemoaning his team's inability to be more clinical and close out games.

Diot finished with 20 points on 8-of-16 shooting from the floor for the Parisians and found plenty of support from Sean May who had 19 on 8-of-13 and took nine rebounds.

Four Paris players, Albicy, May, Diot and Williams, might find the Romania trip particularly taxing as each of them stayed on the floor for thirty minutes or more on Saturday.


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