Panellinios BC hosts Gran Canaria 2014 in a clash of two strong candidates to make it out of the Group G in this year’s Eurocup. Panellinios is riding high after prevailing over a very tough VEF Riga team in the Qualifying Round, but if Gran Canaria has one thing, it is experience, so the game should prove to be closely contested by both sides. Gran Canaria has proven to be a club that hangs on to its key players as Marcus Norris, Sitapha Savane and Jim Moran enter their fifth, sixth, and, amazingly enough, ninth seasons, respectively, with their club. The home team made it this far largely thanks to newcomer Devin Smith’s 25 points in the first leg of the Riga series that proved to be decisive. In his fourth season with the club, Alekos Petroulas provides leadership at the forward spot that includes two more new additions in Britton Johnsen and Joshua Davis. Facing them will be Gran Canaria’s James Augustine, Daniel Kickert and the veteran Moran. At center, Gran Canaria boasts two great shotblockers in Savane and Will McDonald. Another battle-tested big man, Djuro Ostojic, will bang away in the blocks for Panellinois along with off-season pickup Ian Vougioukas. In addition to the new offensive options that Smith brings, Panellinios already packs quite a punch at guard where the returning Manolis Papamakarios is joined by recent arrivals Kostas Charalampidis and Rod Blakney. Judging from the scoring output in last year’s Eurocup, the trio have the potential to light up a scoreboard between them. Gran Canaria will try to hold its own from the perimeter with the aforementioned Norris and swingman Melvin Sanders. It will be a strong opening night test for both teams as they look to make strong runs in the Eurocup.
REFEREES: Luigi Lamonica, Marko Juras, Lahdo Sharro
Monday, November 23, 2009