|In a repeat of one of the most exciting, back-and-forth clashes from Week 3, Power Electronics Valencia welcomes BC Triumph to its home court with first place in Group B on the line. Just last week, Valencia pulled off a 59-67 victory in Moscow against the very same Triumph squad. The game was actually closer than the score indicates. Tied at 56-56, Valencia’s young shooting sensation Nando De Colo caught fire and scored 9 points before the final buzzer to give his team the huge road win. The 2-1 Triumph now heads to Spain with plans for revenge and knows that it has a chance to leapfrog Valencia and move into the top position in the group if it wins by more than 8 points. In order to pull off that tough task, Triumph will do all it can to make sure De Colo does not explode again to break the game open. Charged with that challenge will be Triumph’s leading scorer Brion Rush, who is notching 19 points to go with 5 boards and 4 assists a game so far in the Eurocup. Rush’s backcourt partner, Pavel Sergeev, will have to try and keep Valencia’s Rafa Martinez from bullying his way to the glass. In the frontcourt, Triumph’s Valery Likhodey, who had 14 points last week versus Valencia, teams up with Konstantin Nesterov, while centers Paul Miller and newcomer Alexandr Bashminov anchor the middle. The four will have their hands full with Valencia’s huge front line. In these two teams’ first meeting, Valencia started the game with two centers in Kosta Perovic and Matt Nielsen. This lineup gave even more freedom to their young star Victor Claver, who can play either at the 3 or 4 spot, to roam. Triumph will have to get more help for Rush if it hopes to head back to Moscow with the mission accomplished. One candidate for Valencia to be weary of is Bashminov. Last week, in his Eurocup debut with Triumph, the big man started the game strong and ended with 9 points. If he can prove to be equally effective, but for the entire game, Triumph’s chances for victory greatly increase.
REFEREES: Shmuel Bachar, Olegs Latisevs, Zdravko Rutesic
Monday, December 14, 2009