|Cholet Basket hosts the undefeated Crvena Zvezda with hopes of pulling itself into the midst of the race for the Last 16 with a big win before its home fans on Tuesday night. Cholet is currently third at 1-2 in Group F after falling to the very same Crvena Zvezda team last week in Belgrade. Avenging that 82-66 loss this week very well could be critical to Cholet’s chances to advance beyond the group phase especially if the 2-1 Benetton Baskets beats the 0-4 Dynamo Moscow in the other pairing of Group F in Week 4. Even though Cholet will have its loyal supporters to push their players on to the victory, the challenge is indeed a huge one. Crvena Zvezda not only dominated Cholet last week, but the European powerhouse is surely smelling blood and knows that a win away from home will all but seal its pass for the next round. Cholet will once again deploy a three-guard attack, thus, one of the keys will be which backcourt can control the game. In their first meeting, Crvena Zvezda won that battle as starting guard Vuk Radivojevic had a great line of 12 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists. Equally as important, Radivojevic and fellow starter Filip Videnov held Cholet’s Sammy Mejia, Fabien Causeur and Arvydas Eitutavicius in check. While Causeur scored 14 points last week, Mejia was limited to just 10. On Tuesday, all eyes will be on Mejia to see if he can shake free and light it up more, something which his team will most definitely need. Crvena Zvezda is also tough to match up against for Cholet due to the number of forwards and centers that can each take the floor and have big nights. Last week, starting center Elmedin Kikanovic tallied 12 points and 4 boards while his backup Vladimir Stimac came off the bench to notch 18 points and 7 rebounds. Cholet’s Kevin Seraphin and sub Randal Falker will have to find a way to slow down the visitors’ post attack if Cholet is to have a chance. And the last key matchup to keep an eye on will be between Crvena Zvezda forward Tadija Dragicevic and his counterpart on Cholet, Mickeal Gelabable, who have both shown they can score the ball against the other team. In short, Cholet will need to play tough and focused for 40 minutes to down the juggernaut that is Crvena Zvezda.
REFEREES: Tolga Sahin, Arnis Ozols, Francisco Araña
Monday, December 14, 2009