After winning back-to-back games for the first time all season, Fenerbahce will look to keep its momentum going when it hosts ALBA Berlin, which is also in fine form with victories in three of its last four games. Not only has Fenerbahce started winning, but its last two wins both also came by double-figure margins of victory. It will be the first time these teams have squared off in over a decade; they split home win in the 2008-09 season.
ALBA playmaker Peyton Siva's debut EuroLeague campaign has been a rocky one as injuries have already kept him out of four games. But when in the lineup, he has been one of the most productive point guards in the competition; he ranks fourth in assists per minute (9.5 prorated over 40 minutes). As he returns to full strength, Siva will be challenged by one of the best at the position over the past decade, three-time champion Kostas Sloukas of Fenerbahce. It should be a fascinating matchup between two top-notch point guards.
Zeljko Obradovic and Aito Garcia Reneses went against each other 25 seasons ago in the semifinals of the 1994 Final Four. Obradovic and his Joventut Badalona beat Aito and his FC Barcelona 79-65 en route to winning the EuroLeague crown in Tel Aviv, Israel. This game will mark the first time they coach against each other in over a decade; their last duel was in March 2009 when Obradovic's Panathinaikos Athens edged Aito's Unicaja Malaga 103-95 after overtime.
Keys to victory: Fenerbahce
Fenerbahce has won games when its offense has worked. It is 4-0 when the team has scored at least 80 points and Fenerbahce has averaged an unthinkable 54.4% on three-pointers as a team in those games. This week it faces an ALBA team that has allowed the most points in the league (88.4 ppg.). Fenerbahce is also last in the league in rebounding (29.2 rpg.). An improved rebounding effort that leads to good shots in transition could be just what Fenerbahce wins for another victory.
Keys to victory: ALBA
ALBA's great ball movement has been a double-edged sword; the team leads the EuroLeague in both assists (19.8 apg.) and turnovers (14.8 TOpg.). To win in Istanbul, ALBA must cut down on its turnovers and get more production in the paint. Its 48.6% shooting on two-pointers is third-worst in the competition. Getting more balance would help ALBA's already-strong three-point marksmen and could be the key to a second road win.
Jan Vesely suffered an injury and he's being evaluated by the medical staff. He won't play against ALBA. Both Nikola Kalinic, Leo Westermann and Nando De Colo are practicing with the team but they will be a game-time decision.
ALBA is missing Tyler Cavanaugh, Johannes Thiemann and Tim Schneider. Bogdan Radosavljevic, who was brought in to fill in for injured players, will also miss one week with an ankle sprain.