The Greek champs welcome the German champs on Wednesday in a Group D clash at the Athens Indoor Olympic Hall featuring defending Euroleague champion Panathinaikos and EWE Baskets Oldenburg. Both teams will have new looks for this clash as the Greens welcome back a pair of veteran big men from injuries, Mike Batiste and Kostas Tsartsaris, while Oldenburg debuts recently signed point guard Bryan Bailey. With its big guns back, Panathinaikos will try to remain atop the group as it reaches the midway point of the regular season. PAO enters the week tied with Real Madrid and BC Khimki for first at 3-1. Oldenburg hopes to steal a win as it looks to snap a three-game losing streak and improve on its 1-3 mark. Depth favors the home side, which is now as strong in the paint as it has been at guard. In the backcourt, the Greens will send Vassilis Spanoulis, Drew Nicholas, Dimitris Diamantidis, Nick Calathes and Milenko Tepic to corral Je’Kel Foster, Rickey Paulding, Daniel Hain and Bailey. The matchup between perennial Best Defender Award winner Diamantidis and Oldernburg’s star Paulding could be an exciting one to watch, while Spanoulis and Calathes will look to stop Foster. Athletic shooter Josh Carter has shined in his rookie season for Oldenburg at small forward, but he faces a player with similar skills in the Panathinaikos’s Stratos Perperoglou. Meanwhile Batiste joins the superb Nikola Pekovic to give head coach Zeljko Obradovic an incredible one-two punch in the pivot and Tsartsaris teams with Antonis Fotsis to shoulder the load at power forward. EWE Baskets will send centers Ruben Boumtje Boumtje and Marko Scekic and power forwards Jasmin Perkovic and Milan Majstrovic to challenge the Green big men. On paper, the experience, home-court advantage and depth makes Panathinaikos the clear favorite, however EWE Baskets is a team that won its Euroleague opener on the road and does not fear anyone. If Bailey can help head coach Predrag Krunic’s men get better looks at the basket from outside, that could trigger a big offensive night that would allow them to give Panathinaikos a run for its money even at OAKA.
REFEREES: Luigi Lamonica, Recep Ankarali, Gianluca Mattioli
Drew Nicholas needs just 2 more three-pointers to reach 200 for his Euroleague career.
Nicholas has seen his points scored and three-pointers made increase in every game so far this season.
Dimitris Diamantidis has made a three-pointer in five consecutive games, dating back to last season.
Nikola Pekovic has scored in double figures in every game this season and in 12 of his last 13 games dating back to last season.
EWE Baskets Oldenburg
EWE Baskets Oldenburg has used the same starting five in all four games this season.
Newcomer Bryan Bailey is set to make his Euroleague debut this week.
Je’Kel Foster is the only EWE Baskets player this season to score in double figures in every game and to sink a three-pointer in every game.
Oldenburg made 12 three-pointers in its first game of the season and only win so far, but has not made more than 9 in any of its losses.