Top 16, Group E protagonists

Jan 20, 2010 by Print
Top 16
A lot of familiar faces will come together in Top 16 Group E, all with the same goals of advancing to the Quarterfinal Playoffs. Group E not only boasts defending champion Panathinaikos, but along with Regal FC Barcelona, it is the only group with two teams from the 2009 Final Four and the only group with two Euroleague champs from the past decade. Moreover, add Partizan and Group E is the only group with three previous Euroleague winners. Also, the combined 27 regular season wins of the four Group E teams is more than any other group in the Top 16. Additionally, Group E is the only one with two teams from the same country – Greece’s Panathinaikos and Maroussi. Coincidentally, those teams also feature brothers, Pat Calathes of Maroussi and Nick of Panathinaikos, who will face off for the first time. Each team has players with past experience from at least one of their rivals. Partizan and Panathinaikos will meet in the Top 16 for the third straight year. Maroussi will play in the Top 16 for the first time. And Barcelona arrives as the favorite due to its unbeaten regular season run.
Top 16, Group E player analysis: JARED HOMAN, MAROUSSI BC
Jared Homan - Maroussi BC
In his second Euroleague season, big man Jared Homan has reached the Top 16 with both his teams so far: Cibona last season and Maroussi BC in this one. Homan, 26, has made the kind of solid contribution in limited minutes that has exemplified Maroussi's unexpected rise. He is the team's second-best scorer and rebounder, averaging 11 points and 5.6 rebounds in 22 minutes per game. Now, Homan hopes the local fans will keep the team's momentum going into the new round. "Our fans started showing up lately, and we hope they continue doing it," Homan says. "Greek fans have always been able to watch great basketball in Top 16 games with Panathinaikos and Olympiacos, now they can do it through us, too." READ MORE
Maroussi BC
Top 16, Group E player slideshow: ALEKSANDAR RASIC, PARTIZAN
It would be hard to overlook the fact that in two of Partizan's most impressive wins of the year, combo-guard Aleksandar Rasic was at his very best, setting and resetting career highs along the way. After starting as a Euroleague rookie last season, Rasic has become a sixth man this season and when he comes in with a hot hand, it changes everything. Partizan was 5-1 in games when he connected from downtown, in part because when the streak shooter shows he is on, that opens the floor for the rest of the Partizan offense to operate with ease. Enjoy this SLIDESHOW of Rasic in action and watch out for more big shots from him in games to come.
Aleksandar Rasic - Partizan
Top 16, Group E player wallpaper: MIKE BATISTE, PANATHINAIKOS
Two-time Euroleague winner Mike Batiste was forced to miss some of the regular season with injury, but once he was back proved as lethal as ever. Batiste put up 16 points per game in just 22 minutes averaged over the six game he appeared in. He also made an extraordinary 34 of his 52 two-point shots. Although he lacked the miminum number of games played to be considered a statistical leader, Batiste averaged more points per minute than any other player, almost 3 for every 4 minutes he was on the floor. And it goes without saying that a healthy Batiste's well-known passion for winning brings the Greens into the Top 16 more than ready to keep defending their title to the max. Download Mike Batiste’s wallpaper.
Regal FC Barcelona
It’s been another terrific start to the season for reigning Euroleague MVP Juan Carlos Navarro. He remains as efficient as ever, scoring from every spot on the floor and never missing an opportunity for an assist when a teammate is open. The chemistry between off-season addition Ricky Rubio and Navarro has been a key element in Barca’s perfect run through the regular season. As the club hits the stretch run looking like a bona fide title contender, there is no better time to remember that Navarro is the only former Euroleague champ on the roster and his experience is certain to factor in as Barca targets a second. Watch his VIDEO highlights and see why.
Juan Carlos Navarro - Regal FC Barcelona