|DKV Joventut hosts Besiktas with a perfect opportunity to consolidate its position in Group D and take a huge step towards advancing to the qualification rounds before its home fans in Badalona, Spain. These two squads squared off just last week in Turkey and Joventut came away with a 73-86 road victory. DKV, thanks to that huge win in Week 3, enters this game at 2-1 and in second place in the group while Besiktas is third at 1-2. Besiktas knows that a large part of its chances to continue in the tournament could hinge on avenging last week’s loss. Easier said than done though, since Joventut is one of the deepest teams in the competition. But Besiktas can take faith that it does have the offensive punch to pull off the road upset starting with option number one, Mire Chatman. The Besiktas guard is leading the Eurocup in scoring at almost 24.7 points per game. Chatman and his backcourt partner, Muratcan Guler, will once again face wave after wave of Joventut defenders, but the biggest matchup of the night will no doubt be between Chatman and Joventut shooting ace Clay Tucker. Last week, both led their teams in scoring with Tucker’s 21 points (to go with 5 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 steals) barely edging Chatman’s 20. Tucker is one of the few fixtures in the Joventut starting lineup. Young gunslinger Uros Tripkovic comes off the bench to spell Tucker and will face off against Besiktas sub Ergin Atsur. Mario Fernandez and Kristaps Valters share time at point guard for Joventut, while at forward head coach Sito Alonso can alternate between the marksmanship of Luca Bogdanovic, who had 16 points, 5 assists and 4 rebounds in Week 3, the athleticism of Alain Koffi or the solid, selfless play of Pere Tomas. This trio will duke it out with Cevher Ozer and backup Kevin Fletcher, who combined for 22 points last week for Besiktas. Another key match up, especially for Besiktas, will be at center where Lonny Baxter will need to improve his 6-point, 1-rebound performance from last week if is team is to have a chance. In Baxter’s way will be Antonio Bueno and Edu Hernandez-Sonseca, who each had 15 points last week, totally dominating the points in the paint for Joventut. If the two big men can score with such ease on Tuesday night, Joventut will be tough to stop.
REFEREES: Jakub Zamojski, Boris Shulga, Nicola Lepetic
Monday, December 14, 2009