The elections 2008 in the United States have their Super Tuesdays’ right now – the Euroleague has its Super Wednesday! Take a look at the match ups for the 3rd game day of the Top16’s:
Montepaschi Siena – Panathinaikos Athens
Olympiakos Piraeus – Zalgiris Kaunas
Unicaja Malaga – CSKA Moscow
Oh yes – I am excited – each game will reveal a secret: How strong is Panathinaikos? Before I start analysing this we should talk to an Italian basketball expert – and our Siena expert – Dario Marra from basketcentral.it (Yes, I love their logo in the “paint”).
Well, here we are: Montepaschi has, against the greek powerhouse, its final exam. Can the Italian team beat Panathinaikos and ensure the leadership in the group? Looking at the last results I guess they can: Siena easily won in the Italian league after coming away from Istanbul with a wonderful win, while the Obradovic’s band fell short in a kind of Euroleague match-up against Aris. That was the first loss in the Greek league, but it confirms the bad moment of the greens. Playing without inside power, and laying too much on the perimeter might be a limit for Pana.
But you know the story about the heart of the champions and all the stuffs…It’s safe to do not underestimate them, but now Pana has to show if they’re really ‘evergreen’….otherwise look for another ‘green’ team booking the trip to Madrid.
Since living in Italy, I know they are patriotic and sometimes love to exaggerate. This makes me doubt Dario is Italian! Just kidding – I am on Dario’s side and will give Siena the win tomorrow. (+8)
The first do or die – Olympiakos vs. Zalgiris. Olympiakos plays at home – will that be a factor? I don’t think so. The reds must win just because they play at home and the Olympiakos fans would not want to deal with a loss – I am sure the team also would not want to deal with the fans after a loss. What does this mean for me? I will watch the last two minutes of that game to see Piraeus go crazy because I think Zalgiris will leave the court as the winner. (+6)
The really interesting do or die though will take place in Malaga where Unicaja hosts CSKA Moscow. After that huge loss in Roma last week, Malaga has not won one game in the Top16 so far – a loss against Moscow would make the Top8 almost impossible. They would be the first to struggle amongst last year’s Final Four participants (Malaga, Panathinaikos, CSKA and Tau Ceramica).
Guess what? they will struggle – at least in my prediction. (+9 for CSKA)
If somebody tells me know they have something better to do than watch the Euroleague games – this web site might be the wrong place for you to be 😉