EuroLeague preview: Darussafaka Dogus aims to stay alive in Freak City

Darussafaka Dogus will look to keep their EuroLeague Playoff aspirations alive when they travel to Brose Bamberg on Thursday in the penultimate round of regular season action.

The Istanbul-based side has its destiny in its hands and will claim the final ticket to the Playoffs if it wins its remaining two games, but the challenge will be in Bamberg, since coach David Blatt’s men have lost their last seven road games going back to December.

“Obviously this is a game of great importance to us,” said Blatt.

“We must come and give our very best and leave all we have on the floor in Bamberg. Brose is a fine team and more than capable as they have shown this season. It’s a very tough road game.”

For Bamberg, this will be their final home game of the season as they are eliminated from Playoff contention.

∞∞∞ TWO PLAYOFF BOUND SIDES MEET IN FINAL FOUR CITY ∞∞∞

Anadolu Efes hosts Olympiacos on Thursday in Istanbul with both sides aiming to finish as high as possible in time for the post-season.

Anadolu Efes coach Velimir Perasovic’s side enters the round ranked sixth and could still potentially place as high as fourth. Olympiacos has clinched home-court advantage in the playoffs and can finish the regular season no worse than third, but second place is still a possibility if it wins and CSKA Moscow loses on the road Friday.

“We will play against the best defensive team in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague,” Persovic commented. “And also they know very well how to play away games especially in critical moments. If we want to compete with them, we must put same level of intensity in every action.”

∞∞∞ TWO EUROLEAGUE GIANTS BATTLE FOR PRIDE ∞∞∞

Barcelona will welcome Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv in the penultimate round of EuroLeague games this season with both sides playing purely for pride.

Injuries have savaged both teams’ rosters this season, but Barcelona (11-17) has been able to rely on its veteran guards Tyrese Rice (13.1 ppg. 5.0 apg.) and Petteri Koponen (10.2 ppg.), the first of whom helped Maccabi to the 2014 EuroLeague crown.

For Maccabi (10-18), forwards Victor Rudd (9.8 ppg.) and Devin Smith (9.6 ppg.) have stepped up, while recent signing Diamon Simpson (10.0 ppg.) has also provided power inside. With guards Yogev Ohayon, D.J. Seeley and Andrew Goudelock injured, Gal Mekel will be the lone point guard in uniform for Maccabi in Barcelona.