While the really exciting games will be tomorrow, at least for us (we will be at the game in Roma, where they will play CSKA, while Arkadios will enjoy the atmosphere in Athens, where Panathinaikos will play against Efes Pilsen), we do have some action today as-well.
Montepaschi, who is still unbeaten will fly to Partizan Belgrade, the city that made four Efes Pilsen players not want to go to the game and finally three US-players had to leave the club. If Montepaschi’s four Americans, Terrell McIntrye, Bootsy Thorton, Shawn Stonerook and Drake Diener decided not to go to Belgrade it would be a nightmare for Siena.
But since Siena is one of the most diceplined teams in the Euroleague this season, I am sure they will show up as usual an pull off their 4th straight win.
The next game will be played in Thessaloniki where Herbert Gordon’s team almost has to win to stay in the competition at all. The opponent being Fenerbahce Istanbul doesn’t make it easier since Istanbul is looking for a Top8 spot with two wins and one loss right behind the group E leader Tau Ceramica who will play against Lituvos Rytas at home.
Tiago Spliter thinks that “We want to stay atop our group and secure our spot for the next stage. We want to show that we are in good shape, that we are a quality team and powerful, so we must focus on staying concentrated for the whole game. At this moment, we shouldn’t look at what’s happening in the other groups, we must take care of what we do, as we are group leaders. It’s good Singleton is close to coming back to play. He has a lot of energy and is eager to play. He is doing amazing work and he will be able to get into team’s rotation step by step.”
Probably the most e xciting game will be played in Malaga, where two Spanish teams meet PALACIO DE LOS DEPORTES J.M. MARTIN CARPENA. What a name for an arena. While FC Barcelona is leading group G, Malaga ranks 3rd just ahead of Lottomatica Roma.
FC Barcelona assistant coach Pascual Xavier, excuse me, head coach now, knows how important that game is for his team to make a big step towards the next round. Sergio Scariolo is more clear with his statement about the game:
Now it’s time for the second leg, time of the final decisions, starting with this vital game, which will determine who has the best options to reach the Quarterfinals with CSKA. We have to clench our fists to compete with sacrifice against the physical problems we have. We have to be concentrated because we face a rival which has shown to be in a good moment this last week. Of course, we have to make that our intensity and energy feed our fans into helping the team in a game that will be complicated and balanced.
According to the IBN forum, where some members post their chances for each team, we will see the following teams win: Siena, Fenerbahce, Tau Ceramica and Unicaja Malaga. According to these votes, which I just added up, Partizan gets four votes out of 14 to win the game, Aris only one out of 13, Barcelona three out of 15 and Lietuvos – well not even on guy thinks Lietuvos Rytas can win tonight. (Some people voted for a tie, which is the reason for the different votes).