Two teams from opposite ends of the table meet on the Canary Islands when Gran Canaria takes on Fenerbahce. Granca has lost three in a row and five of six to slip back to 14th in the standings, though it is still only two wins behind the team in eighth place. Fenerbahce leads the standings and has only lost twice all season. Their defenses tell the stories of their seasons; Granca allows the most points in the league (87.5 ppg.) and Fenerbahce allows the fewest (75.1 ppg.).
Red hot three-point shooters can be big-time game changers and this showdown has two of the best. Gran Canaria shooting guard Marcus Eriksson is second in the league in three-pointers made on a per-minute basis with an average of 4.51 prorated over 40 minutes. He is sinking those at an outstanding clip (44.0%), too. His counterpart, Marko Guduric, does not shoot as many (2.42 made per 40 minutes), but he leads the league in three-point accuracy at an amazing 57.1%. There is no doubt that a big game from either of the two could sway this game.
Earlier this season
Fenerbahce dominated Gran Canaria 97-72 when they met on opening night in what was their first-ever EuroLeague showdown. Jan Vesely starred with 19 points and 11 rebounds for a performance index rating of 34 to earn MVP of the round honors and Nikola Kalinic shined too with a PIR of 24. Fenerbahce's point total in that game was its sixth-highest since Zeljko Obradovic became its head coach in 2014.
Keys to victory: Gran Canaria
Gran Canaria has held opponents to less than 80 points only four times this season, but is 3-1 in those games. So first and foremost, Coach Garcia's men must play exceptional defense. Fenerbahce's standout defense does not block a lot of shots (1.9 bpg.) and allows teams to shoot an above average 54.8% on two-pointers, so Gran Canaria would be wise to look early and often to its big men, Ondrej Balvin and Anzejs Pasecniks, which might have an added bonus of drawing some fouls from Fenerbahce's interior stars.
Keys to victory: Fenerbahce
Fenerbahce has cracked the 90-point mark five times this season, but all of them have been on the road. Thus, despite facing the most porous defense in the league, Coach Obradovic's men are best playing their brand of basketball, which is slower-paced. Focusing on defense and keeping Gran Canaria to a low score is the safest game plan for Fenerbahce to notch another victory.