EuroLeague preview: Second Istanbul derby in 24 hours highlights Friday’s action

EuroLeague
Photo: EuroLeague

A mere 24 hours after Anadolu Efes and Darussafaka Dogus square up at the Abdi Ipecki Arena in Istanbul, the more infamous city rivalry between Galatasaray and Fenerbahce starts up at the same arena on Friday evening as a frantic week of EuroLeague basketball concludes.

Despite the two teams illustrious history that doesn’t just span in basketball but sport in general, Friday’s meeting will actually be the first ever meeting between the two in the EuroLeague since its humble beginning in 2000.

“For the irst time in EuroLeague history we have almost back-to-back games,” said Fenerbahce coach Zeljko Obradovic. “Something new for everybody. It will be very interesting to see everybody’s reaction. Like all EuroLeague games, this will be very important. First of all, we will have to see the situation in our team but we have to be ready to fight. As always, it will be a difficult game.”

But it will no doubt be a fantastic occasion, and one that the new look EuroLeague can deliver. But Fenerbahce will go into this game without the services of Bogdan Bogdanovic, who is set to miss at least three weeks of action due to an  ankle sprain.

∞∞∞ BARCELONA LOOK TO DEFEND HOME COURT AGAINST BROSE BASKETS ∞∞∞

In EuroLeague action, Barcelona have won all three of their fixtures at the Palau Blaugrana against Brose Baskets and they will looking to continue that feat against the German champions on Friday.

Both teams currently own 1-2 records with defeats in the last round of action, so the two sides will be eager to bounce back straight away.

An injury-plagued Barcelona though will be without the services of Justin Doellman, Juan Carlos Navarro and now Pau Ribas. Brose Baskets should be at full strength.

∞∞∞ OTHER GAMES ∞∞∞

Xavi Pascual makes his home debut in the EuroLeague for Panathinaikos when they face-off against Crvena Zvezda in Athens.

Both sides own 2-1 records and will be looking to maintain their winning records with both teams claiming victories in round three.

And Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv will look to build on their first win in round three when they travel to Zalgiris on Friday.

With the departure of coach Erez Edelstein behind them, Maccabi beat Galatasaray in Rami Hadar’s first game in charge and it gave the Israeli giants the much needed confidence heading into Friday’s encounter in Kaunas.

“The win was important to give us confidence moving forward,” Maccabi’s Andrew Goudelock said. “The firing of Erez Edelstein is behind us; – what’s done is done and we need to look ahead. We have a busy schedule just like everybody else so no excuses. We’re in a different direction now and we’re all feeling it.”