Last season’s Eurocup winners Unics Kazan will look to improve to 3-0 in the Top 16 on Wednesday, as they host EA7 Milano, who are currently 0-2.
Unics coach Evgeny Pashutin isn’t taking the Italian side lightly though, saying that they have a strong and experienced roster that can compete with the best.
“One shouldn’t be mislead by the fact the team entered the Top 16 from the fourth place,” Pashutin said. “The team is very strong, and they have proved this once again in the recent road game against Fenerbahce Ulker, where they were one inch short of the win.”
Pashutin, who led CSKA Moscow to their last Final Four appearance in 2010 will want his side to play a defensive brand of basketball against Sergio Scariolo’s Milano team. The Italians are ranked last in scoring (60ppg) this season.
Nathan Jawai is a doubt though for Unics, due to the Australian returning home last week due to a family grievance. He didn’t feature in last week’s round of domestic Russian league games.
EA7 Milano need to win on Wednesday to keep their hopes of a last-eight spot alive. Otherwise it will be an uphill battle should they lose.
MADRID AND BILBAO BATTLE IT OUT
It will be an all-ACB tie in the Spanish capital in Wednesday’s late game, as Real Madrid host Gescrap Bilbao.
Both teams split their opening two encounters in the Top 16, and a win is vital if they want to keep pace with Group F leaders Montepaschi Siena.
Madrid guard Sergo Llull, along with the rest of the squad know Bilbao well, but admits that this will be a much different game than what they would face domestically. The Spanish international also calls on the fans to show their full support to the team.
Gescrap has a balanced roster with two good player at every spot. It is hard for them to have a bad game,” he says. “We need our fans more than ever, because we are facing a tough test.”
Gescrap’s Latvian national Janis Blums is a doubt for Wednesday’s encounter as he has been out for the last three games with an injury.
EFES LOOK TO BOUNCE BACK FROM HORROR-SHOW
Anadolu Efes will look to put last week’s crushing loss to CSKA Moscow to bed when they square off against Olympiacos in Athens.
Olympiacos are currently 0-2, with the Turkish side going into Wednesday’s clash 1-1. Efes’ coach Ufuk Sarica believes that his side will have an advantage if they win this important game.
“We are going to play one of the most important games in Athens. We will have a great advantage if we win there,” Sarica commented.
“It will absolutely be a game that we strongly wish to win. It will not be an easy gamefor neither team. We want to clear our way ahead by winning.”