Two EuroLeague powerhouses meet again for the 28th time since the competition started in 2000, making this a classic showdown in the competition. Nando De Colo has been Fenerbahce's top scorer until now (20.5 ppg.), followed by Derrick Williams (9.5) and Ali Muhammed (8.5). Toko Shengelia (15.5), Pierria Henry (10.0) and Luca Vildoza (10.0) have been Baskonia's main guns so far.
Fenerbahce has stood in Baskonia's way to success in recent years. In 2016, Fenerbahce needed overtime to defeat Baskonia 88-77 in the EuroLeague semifinals. Bogdan Bogdanovic led Fenerbahce with 18 points and Ioannis Bourousis had 22 points and 10 rebounds for Baskonia. In 2018, Fenerbahce downed Baskonia 3-1 in the EuroLeague Playoffs, sealing its Final Four ticket with an 83-92 road win in Game 4.
Shengelia is Baskonia's franchise player. In his sixth EuroLeague campaign with the team, Shengelia makes the difference at power forward due to his size, ballhandling, intensity and all-around scoring skills. He faces a similar player in terms of athleticism and scoring in Derrick Williams, a great finisher around and over the rim. Expect a very exciting, high-voltage matchup between them.
Fenerbahce is one of the lowest-scoring teams in the competition (66.5 ppg.) through two games. Its two-point accuracy is at 43.6% after having led the 2018-19 EuroLeague in that category (58.3%). On the other hand, Baskonia ranks last in three-point shooting, hitting just 10-of-41 (24.4%), so both teams have a lot of room for improvement. Baskonia leads the EuroLeague in blocked shots at 5.5 per game.
Keys to victory: Fenerbahce
Fenerbahce has a core of players who have worked together really well for years, led by Kostas Sloukas, Ali Muhammed, Gigi Datome, Nikola Kalinic and Jan Vesely. The hosts need to stop Youssoupha Fall and Michael Eric down low but have enough big guys – with Vesely, Ahmet Duverioglu and Vladimir Stimac – to do so. Fenerbahce will seek to improve its two-point shooting percentage through better ball circulation. Sloukas and Muhammed will have a critical role in order to do that.
Keys to victory: Baskonia
Baskonia is last in three-point shooting accuracy despite having some specialists like Matt Janning, Patricio Garino and Vildoza. Having better numbers from downtown will create more space for Shengelia, Fall and Eric to play around the baskets. Baskonia relies on Vildoza and Henry to set the right game tempo, especially when Fall, a potential difference-maker, is on the court.
Joffrey Lauvergne and Egehan Arna are in the process of recovering from their respective injuries.
Luca Vildoza (shoulder) and Nikolas Stauskas (knee) are doubtful against Fenerbahce.