|Lottomatica Roma hopes to bounce back from a losing effort in Week 1 when it hosts DKV Joventut in a Group C showdown in the Italian capital on Thursday. Lottomatica won the two previous matchups between the clubs two years ago, so it is also a good chance for Joventut to win its first official game on Italian soil since December 13, 2003, when it downed Virtus Bologna 91-103 in overtime. DKV superstar Ricky Rubio remains sidelined sidelined, so Demond Mallet and Pau Ribas are set to share the point guard duties. Lottomatica is quite deep at point guard despite not having Jacopo Giachetti back in action, as it counts on Ibby Jaaber and teen sensation Brandon Jennings, who had 9 points in his Euroleague debut last week. The matchup between Jaaber and Ribas could be one of the keys to the games. Roma will have to slow Bracey Wright, who has been Joventut's main backcourt scorer so far this season. Allan Ray, Jennings and Sani Becirovic will be all over him. Becirovic will have a tough test against Ferran Laviña and Pere Tomas, good defenders with talent to score, too. The battle at small forward will be equally interesting, as Joventut counts on sharp shooter Simas Jasaitis and versatile, experienced big man Luke Bogdanovic. There is some good news for Lottomatica, as Roberto Gabini is back in action, joining forces with youngster Luigi Datome at small forward. Of course, defensive stopper Rodrigo De La Fuente will be ready to use his experience and know-how against Jasaitis. Lottomatica has Andre Hutson and Primoz Brezec as its main references in the paint. Hutson offers post moves and mid-range shots while Brezec gives size and power. Brezec will not have it easy against shot blocking ace Edu Hernandez-Sonseca or Pops Mensah-Bonsu, a force of nature ready to dunk on anyone. Meanwhile, Hutson will test his skills against Jan Jagla and Henk Norel, a couple of mobile big men who can hit from outside. Lottomatica will be loyal to coach Jasmin Repesa's philosophy, with an up-tempo game trying to get everyone involved and taking any open shot. Meanwhile, Joventut will insist on its strong defense while trying to make the most out of its athleticism. Expect a wide-open game in Rome this Thursday.
- Guard Sani Becirovic enters his team’s Week 2 home game needing just 6 points to reach 1,000 for his Euroleague Basketball career.
- Forward Andre Hutson had two of his best ever games in European competition against DKV Joventut in the ULEB Cup during the 2004-05 season. Hutson averaged 23.5 points on 69% shooting, 11.5 rebounds, 3 steals and 1.5 blocks for a 22 index in two wins for his team that season, Makedonikos Kozani.
- After going 3 for 4 from downtown last week, Luigi Datome has now made 14 of 26 attempted three-pointers in his Euroleague career, which converts to an incredible 53.8% success rate. With enough games played, that shooting percentage would be the best from three-point range in Euroleague history.
- Big man Angelo Gigli and forward Rodrigo De la Fuente were both teammates with DKV Joventut big man Pops Mensah-Bonsu at Benetton Treviso last season. In fact both Gigli and De la Fuente appeared alongside Mensah-Bonsu at different times in the starting lineup.
- Guard Demond Mallet established a Euroleague career-high in assists last week with 7 in his club’s 81-64 win over Union Olimpija.
- DKV Joventut blocked 10 shots in its Week 1 win over Union Olimpija, the most of any team in the competition last week. Pops Mensah-Bonsu and Jan Jagla led the way with 3 blocks apiece.
- Simas Jasaitis enters his team’s Week 2 game needing only 1 more three-pointer to reach 100 for his Euroleague Basketball career.
- Guard Ferran Laviña is the only player on either team’s current roster who scored when these teams last met in Badalona in January 2007. He had 8 as Joventut fell to Roma 72-83.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008