Podgorica will be hosting its last EuroLeague game of the season on Thursday when Buducnost VOLI welcomes Anadolu Efes Istanbul. The hosts will look to give a last bit of joy to their fans and snap a seven-game losing streak in the process, having said goodbye to the playoffs race long ago. Efes will be playing to hold onto fourth place and home-court advantage in the playoffs, especially after its home loss to CSKA Moscow earlier this week.
Earlier this season
This will be just the second time that these teams meet in the EuroLeague. In Round 13, Efes thrashed Buducnost in Istanbul by 38 points, 106-68. Rodrigue Beaubois led the way with 22 points and 5 of 7 threes, followed by Brock Motum, who scored 17. For Buducnost, big man Earl Clark shined with 21 points. Efes won the first two quarters by 9 points each and the last two by 10 points while shooting in 13 of 23 threes in a duel where Buducnost never had any options.
Earl Clark has had a solid EuroLeague debut season with 11.9 points and 3.7 rebounds on average in 27 starts for Buducnost. For Efes, Adrien Moerman has been a key contributor in a huge season with his 12.3 pointsm, 6.3 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.3 steals in 27 appearances, also as a starter. The duel between these two big men in the paint promises some of the best moments in the game.
Keys to victory: Buducnost
It's a goodbye for Buducnost at Moraca. The hosts will play with all their heart to offer a last success to their fans. In order to do that, Buducnost will have to adjust defense and try to stop that ball circulation of Efes (19.5 apg.) and also the high shooting percentages of the guests from the field (58.5%). Clark and Edwin Jackson will be the duo that has to lead once again, as they did when giants like CSKA Moscow, Real Madrid or FC Barcelona Lassa fell in Moraca earlier this season.
Keys to victory: Efes
Efes is playing to hold fourth place, and if the first game between these two teams is any indicator, the guests have a solid chance to stay on top of this matchup. Efes averages almost 10 more points per game and gives up 5 less than Buducnost, making it a net 15-point difference going into the game. Also, the guests dominate every aspect of the game over Buducnost, summarized in a difference of 26 in the average PIR (73.4 to 99.3). However, the guests will have to stay alert as Buducnost will be playing for pride with no pressure, and other big teams who neglected this before this season ended up falling in Podgorica.