|A big battle atop the Group C standings is scheduled on Wednesday at 20:30 CET, when Caja Laboral welcomes Lottomatica Roma to Vitoria, Spain. Both teams join CSKA Moscow in a three-way tie for second place in Group C, all at 3-2 and right behind Maccabi Electra, first at 4-1. Laboral continues facing severe injury problems, as Marcelinho Huertas and Brad Oleson are not expected to take part in this game while forward Lior Eliyahu is questionable. With Huertas sidelined, Pau Ribas will see most minutes at point guard, with Sean Singletary coming off the bench. Singletary will play a critical role against a physical point guard like Ibby Jaaber, Roma's most diverse contributor so far this season. Meanwhile, combo Jacopo Giachetti plays an important role for Roma due to his experience, know-how and silent leadership. Jaaber took over in Roma's home win against Laboral in October, so the hosts must stop him to prevent Lottomatica to get its run-and-gun game going. With Oleson unavailable, Carl English will see his scoring duties extended against Roma. Meanwhile, Vladimir Micov and Fernando San Emeterio will share minutes at small forward. English is set to test his shooting skills against Ricky Minard, who can put him into trouble in one-on-one situations. San Emeterio has the tough mission to stop Kennedy Winston, who has been been unstoppable so far this season. Lottomatica is deeper at both wings due to Laboral's severe injury problems, so Luca Vitali, Rodrigo De La Fuente and Herve Toure give the guests an extended rotation to play more physical down the stretch. Lottomatica's main concern, however, will be stopping former All-Euroleague center Tiago Splitter, one of the best low post players anywhere. If Eliyahu is still sidelined, Stanko Barac will see playing time alongside Splitter or three-point specialist Mirza Teletovic. Lottomatica has its own frontcourt problems, as Angelo Gigli did not play this weekend and may miss his third consecutive Euroleague game. Andre Hutson hopes to use his experience and post skills to get Teletovic into foul trouble. Andrea Crosariol has the tough mission to guard Splitter, while Herve and veteran forward Alessandro Tonolli will try to open the court with their three-point shots. Lottomatica must run its offense through Jaaber and get Hutson involved in the low post. Laboral has to feed Splitter down low to generate double-team situations and find open shots for Teletovic and English. Expect nothing but a high-profile Group C showdown at Buesa Arena.
REFEREES: Shmuel Bachar, Matej Boltauzer, Marko Juras
Tiago Splitter surpassed Dejan Tomasevic for 20th place on the Euroleague career rebounding charts last week. He how has 605 career rebounds.
Splitter set a career-high with 4 blocks against Lottomatica Roma last season. Splitter also tallied 17 points and 6 rebounds to help Caja Laboral win 96-103 in overtime in Rome.
Splitter set a Euroleague career high with 5 assists last week against CSKA Moscow. He is averaging 2.6 assists per game this season, which is more than double his career average entering the season (0.9 apg.).
Mirza Teletovic scored a season-high 17 points in Week 1 against Lottomatica Roma.
Ibby Jaaber scored a Euroleague career-high 20 points in a regular season game against Caja Laboral last season. He also made a career-high 4 three-pointers, though Caja Laboral walked away with a 96-103 overtime win. Jaaber matched the 20-point output this season against Maccabi.
Jaaber, who leads the Euroleague with 2.8 steals per game, has recorded at least 1 steal in seven straight Euroleague games dating back to last season.
Kennedy Winston has made more three pointers (12) at more than double the rate (52.2%) in his first five games this season than he did in his two previous Euroleague campaigns combined (6 for 24, 25%).
Luca Vitali has made 10 consecutive free throws over his past four Euroleague appearances.
Tuesday, December 01, 2009