|Aris BSA 2003 hosts BC Siauliai with thoughts of avenging its 1-point loss in Lithuania just last week. In a tight Group C where all four teams are within one win of one another, it goes without saying that every victory counts. Aris arrives in second place in the group at 2-1 while Siauliai is right behind at 1-2. Siauliai enters this Week 4 contest with the added confidence of having beaten Aris, but its players also know that a slim victory at home in no way assures an easy trip on the road. Aris will have to shake off any doubts generated by letting a 13-point advantage evaporate in the fourth quarter in its first encounter with Siauliai. Beyond dealing with their execution down the stretch, Aris will also have to find a way to stop Siauliai’s Mindaugas Kuzminskas and Arvydas Siksnius. Kuzminskas had a spectacular game versus Aris, scoring 21 points, grabbing 7 rebounds and dishing out 3 assists in route to being named the Week 3 MVP. Despite his big night, Kuzminskas had to share the role of hero with his teammate Siksnius, who not only led Siauliai in scoring with 25 points to go with 5 boards and 3 assists, but also won the game with a jumper to cap his team’s amazing comeback. Other key members of the home team are forward Deividas Gailus, who had 16 points and 4 assists last week, guard Derrick Low and center Raitis Grafs, who anchors the middle. Grafs will once again go to battle with Aris big man Andy Betts and veteran Michalis Kakiouzis. The center and power forward combined for 30 points last week and will surely look to have another big night for Aris. At guard, Aris starts the trio of Jeremy Richardson, who led the team last week with 20 points, Aaron Miles and Nikos Hatzivrettas, while Juan Dixon comes off the bench to light it up. This three-guard set relies heavily on Betts and Kakiouzis to hold their own up front, something that Siauliai took advantage of by completely beating Aris on the boards to the tune of 34-24 in their previous meeting. Aris will have to find a way to cut down on the difference in rebounds this time around.
REFEREES: Zoran Sutulovic, Andrej Jersan, Omer Esteron
Monday, December 14, 2009