|An already do-or-die battle between domestic champions to make it to the Top 16 in Group D is scheduled in Oldenburg, Germany, where EWE Baskets hosts Asseco Prokom on Thursday at 20:00 CET. Both teams join a three-way tie with AJ Milano for fourth place in Group D - so it comes as no surprise to say that the winner will take a giant step to stay alive in the competition. Oldenburg already beat Prokom so another win against the Polish champion would give the hosts a very important advantage in the fourth-place race. Oldenburg, however, is still without Jason Gardner, while star forward Rickey Paulding is questionable due to an ankle injury. Paulding is expected to play, sharing the small forward duties with Josh Carter and Daniel Hain. Newcomer Bryan Bailey and do-it-all swingman Je'Kel Foster will see most minutes at both guard spots. Bailey has a high-profile battle against Prokom playmaker Daniel Ewing, that shares the point guard duties with Junior Harrington. Foster is ready for a big scoring battle against David Logan. Meanwhile, Paulding has a tough test against Qyntel Woods, that can take advantage of his physical skills, talent and determination. Prokom counts on Lukasz Seweryn and Piotr Szcztoka to add some playing time off the bench, just as they have been doing in the Polish League recently. Prokom has a very versatile frontcourt, with can be an interesting factor in this game. Jan Jagla is an excellent shooter, Ronnie Burrell offers post skills and mid-range shots whiel Pape Sow is a dominant, old-school center that offers power and strength. Sow is ready for a big battle against another African center like Ruben Boumtje-Boumtje. Both players have similar defensive skills but Sow has more options in offense. Jagla will test his unlimited range against Milan Majstorovic. Meanwhile, Burrell faces a critical matchup against Jasmin Perkovic, a very versatile forward and a natural-born leader. Marko Scekic could be a decisive player for Oldenburg due to his dynamism, deep range and blue-collar mentality. Prokom must speed up the game tempo and get Woods and Logan involved to increase its chances to win the game. Oldenburg depends on Paulding's physical condition, as Foster and Bailey must step up if he is not 100%. Expect an important, critical game for both teams on Thursday.
REFEREES: Lazaros Voreadis, Eddie Viator, Sergey Zashchuk
EWE Baskets Oldenburg
Center Ruben Boumtje- Boumtje and Asseco Prokom forward Qyntel Woods were teammates for parts of two seasons at Portland of the NBA.
Center Marko Scekic and Prokom guard David Logan were teammates during the 2007-08 season at PGE Turow Zgorzelec, helping that club reach the ULEB Cup Final Eight and the Polish League finals.
EWE Baskets Oldenburg has used the same starting five in all five games this season.
Rickey Paulding scored a season-high 23 points in Week 1 at Asseco Prokom.
Marko Scekic recorded a season-high 14 rebounds last week at Panathinaikos.
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.
Josh Carter has averaged 12.7 points on the road this season, but just 4.5 points per game in home games.
Asseco Prokom Gdynia
Big man Jan Jagla is the only native of Germany on the Prokom roster. He played for Germany this summer at EuroBasket 2009.
David Logan has scored in double figures in 16 straight Euroleague games. He has also made at least one three-pointer in 16 straight games.
Logan has picked up at least 1 steal in all 20 Euroleague games in which he has played.
Daniel Ewing has made at least on three-pointer in seven straight Euroleague games, dating back to last season.
Ronnie Burrell is averaging more than twice as many points and nearly twice as many rebounds on the road (12.5 ppg., 8.5 rpg.) as he is at home (5.7 ppg., 5 rpg.) this season.
Pape Sow scored a season-high 18 points last week at BC Khimki.
Qyntel Woods had one of the best games of his Euroleague career Week 1 against Oldenburg with 23 points and 14 rebounds.
Wednesday, December 02, 2009