Five Euroleague games are to be played tonight, each bearing a number of scintillating storylines – well, okay, maybe not the nearly history-bereft Cholet-Lietuvos Rytas matchup, but you get the point.
For your perusal, then, a few factoids, bites of information and videos in the leadup to tonight’s action. Enjoy the games, and best of luck to Union Olimpija; BiE thinks they’re gonna need it.
Cholet Basket vs. Lietuvos Rytas. Not much to report here; the teams’ only previous meeting was in ULEB Cup play in 2003-04 … Lietuvos Rytas has lost five consecutive Euroleague road games but here’s an upside for fans: The team’s last such win was in France last season … Luc-Arthur Vebobe is averaging 10.3 points per game in the LNB.
Virtus Roma vs. Real Madrid. Darius Washington and Andrea Crosariol both enjoyed career games in beating up Spirou Charleroi last week; the former went for 20 points while Crosariol contributed 16 points and 8 rebounds – all three stats represent Euroleague personal highs … D’Or Fischer has an active streak of 12 Euroleague games with at least one blocked shot … Luigi Datome has hit 17 free throws in a row; for Real Madrid, Pablo Prigioni and Sergio Llull enter with 15 and 12 consecutive free throws made, respectively … Roma and Madrid have faced each other only four times previously, twice each in the 1984-85 and 2007-08 seasons.
Partizan Belgrade vs. Maccabi Tel Aviv. Partizan leads the all-time series 10-5, dating back to the 1979-80 Champions Cup (!), but Partizan won the best-of-five playoff series with Maccabi 3-1 last year; of course, only Dusan Kecman and Jan Vesely remain from the 2009-10 Partizan squad … Kecman’s career high of 29 points was scored in the 2010 EL playoffs against Maccabi … David Bluthenthal is 15 points shy of 1,000 career Euroleague points … Vesely has started for Partizan in 24 straight Euroleague games … Partizan is shooting just 18.2% (6-of-33) beyond the (new) arc, “good” for worst in the league … Sofoklis Schortsanitis leads all EL players in points per minute played, at 0.99 … San Antonio Spurs 2008 draft choice James Gist makes his Euroleague debut for Partizan.
FC Barcelona vs. Fenerbahçe Ülker. Count Fenerbahçe among Barça’s many victims of the past decade: Barcelona rules this series, 16 games to three and has gone 9-1 against the Turkish side since 2000 … with one blocked shot in the game, Terence Morris will pass the currently injured Viktor Khryapa for career Euroleague blocks at 92; Erazem Lorbek has 90 going into the game … Pete Mickeal’s career high of 26 points came against Fenerbahçe in last EL season’s opening game … Roko Ukic was with Barça in 2006-07 … Mickael, Mirsad Turkcan and Lynn Greer were once teammates for Dynamo Moscow, while Juan Carlos Navarro and Tarence Kinsey teamed for the Memphis Grizzlies … Lynn Greer is riding a streak of 20 consecutive free throws made … Ricky Rubio turned in a hell of a game on his 20th (!) birthday.
Union Olimpija vs. Panathinaikos. The other meeting of undefeated teams in week three … Panathinaikos has utterly dominated this series, winning 11 of 12 going back to 1994 … head coaches Jure Zdovc and Zlejko Obradovic were part of the FIBA Championship-winning Team Serbia of 1990 recently recalled in “Once Brothers” … Olimpija’s Giorgi Shermadini is a loaner from PAO … Romain Sato once teamed with Vlado Ilievski on Montepaschi Siena, and then with Vladimer Boisa … Goran Jagodnik is coming off an MVP month … Dimitris Diamantidis averaged seven assists in the first two EL games, tops in the league … with two more three-pointers, Drew Nicholas will be 10th all-time in Euroleague play in the statistical category; he enters the game with 226.