DKV Joventut and Unics Kazan, two teams with tremendous firepower from beyond the three-point arc, clash in Week 2 action and only one will emerge with a 2-0 record and sole possession of first place in Group D. This figures to be one of the premier contests on the slate for Week 2 as both sides love to light it up. On opening day, Kazan blew away the history books by dropping a total of 20 three-point bombs on Besiktas ColaTurka, while last week Joventut set the record for three-pointers in the Spanish League by netting 19 a the expense of CB Murcia. The big guns in this shootout for Joventut are shooting guards Clay Tucker and Uros Tripkovic, point guard Kristaps Valters and small forward Luka Bogdanovic. Tucker led the way in Joventut’s opening day win over Telekom Bonn with 16 points, 6 assists and 4 rebounds, and Valters added 7 points and 6 assists. Facing them is sharp-shooting guard Marko Popovic, who tied Ruben Douglas’s individual record of 9 threes in Week 1, backup guard Victor Zvarykin and veteran forward Saulius Stombergas, who is coming off a 5 three-pointer outing versus Besiktas. Adding balance to their perimeter players, both squads have forwards who can do the dirty work as well as score the ball. Kazan’s Igor Zamanskiy and Vladimir Veremeenko do a little bit of everything while Joventut has Pere Tomas, youngster Henk Norel and the athleticism of Alain Koffi to draw upon. An interesting subplot, which could very well make the difference in the game, will be the battle between two of the best bangers in the competition – Joventut’s two-time Eurocup-winner, Edu Hernandez-Sonseca, and Kazan’s talented Kresimir Loncar. If one of the two can impose themselves in the paint, it could swing the battle in his team’s favor if the outside scorers end up canceling each other out.
REFEREES: Tolga Sahin, David Chambon, Joseph Bissang
Monday, November 30, 2009