Turkish Airlines Euroleague
September 02, 2014
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Post-Draw flash analysis: Group F
December 28, 2011
Real Madrid won difficult regular season Group C in style, using an six-game winning streak to climb ahead of everyone else. Madrid has pleases its fans with its run-and-gun basketball brand, too. The Whites lead the 2011-12 Turkish Airlines Euroleague in scoring (87.9 ppg.), led by sixth man Jaycee Carroll (16.9 ppg.), who leads all Top 16 players in three-pointers made (30). Pass-first point guard Sergio Rodriguez (6.6 ppg., 5.5. apg.) and bwin December MVP Nikola Mirotic (12.6 ppg.) have also been outstanding. Whether this fun-to-watch basketball brand leads to big titles or not remains to be seen - it worked for Maccabi in 2004 and 2005 – so sit back and enjoy a unique team playing exciting, uptempo basketball.
Despite battling severe injuries, Montepaschi Siena managed to rank second in Group D and come into the Top 16 in a good position to keep battling for Turkish Airlines Euroleague glory. Montepaschi won its last four regular season games by showing great character and as always, outstanding ball circulation. Lightning quick point guard Bo McCalebb (17.9 ppg.) is the team's main reference on offense along with three-time Euroleague champion David Andersen (10.2 ppg., 6.2 rpg.), whose post skills and deep shooting range are more needed than ever. Montepaschi made it to the Final Four last season and despite its circumstances, should be ready to battle for a ticket to Istanbul in May.
Unicaja enters the Top 16 for the seventh consecutive season, but is eager to break through and reach the Playoffs for the first time since its last Final Four appearance in 2007. Few teams have the frontline to match Unicaja’s tandem of Joel Freeland (13.1 ppg., 6.8 rpg.) and Luka Zoric (11.1 ppg., 6.2 rpg.), who together were central reasons the team gathered more rebounds (380) than any other team in the regular season. The point guard duo of Kristaps Valters and E.J. Rowland has paid dividends, while Gerald Fitch remains an athletic threat on the wings. The talent is there for coach Chus Mateo’s men to move forward another step in Unicaja’s quest to taste Final Four basketball again.
Gescrap BB enters the Top 16 on an emotional high after winning its last two games and knocking off rival Caja Laboral on the final day of the regular season to advance in its first season playing at Europe’s highest level. Marko Banic (15.7 ppg.) has been the team leader and go-to guy, but the skills of do-it-all forward Alex Mumbru (10.5 ppg.), big man D’Or Fischer (1.1 bpg.), shooting ace Kostas Vasiliadis and athletic guard Aaron Jackson round out a formidable squad dubbed the “men in black.” Even in defeat, head coach Fotios Katsikaris’s men have been tough – four of five losses have been by single digits – and that will continue into the Top 16 as Gescrap aims to establish itself as a European force.
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