Two powerhouses looking for their first win in Group D will meet in Istanbul on Wednesday
Watch every Euroleague match live and get a free £50 bet when opening a new account at SportingBet using bonus code MAXIMUMBONUS
Two powerhouses looking for their first win in Group D will meet in Istanbul on Wednesday when Efes Pilsen hosts Eurocup champion Power Electronics Valencia. Efes and Valencia registered respective losses against Union Olimpija and Panathinaikos in Week 1 and need to bounce back right away to stay away of trouble.
Valencia, however, is facing severe injury problems, as James Augustine is still sidelined while Nando De Colo and Jeremy Richardson are questionable for the game against Efes. Moreover, big men Serhiy Lishchuk and Robertas Javtokas are battling problems, even though both players are expected to play against Efes, whose only player out is center Miroslav Raduljica, but the team signed All-Decade center Nikola Vujcic on Monday to take his place.
If De Colo cannot play, Omar Cook will be Valencia's only real option at point guard and could be received with honors, too. Cook's late heroics with Unicaja against Lietuvos Rytas in Vilnius last season allowed Efes Pilsen to reach the 2009-10 Top 16 at the very last minute.
Jose Simeon provides aggressiveness and penetration skills off the bench. Efes is deep at point guard, as it can run the floor with Andrew Wisniewski, improve its defense and five-on-five offense with Kerem Tunceri or be more creative with Ender Arslan. Valencia will be very concerned with stopping Igor Rakocevic, a two-time Alphonso Ford Top Scorer Trophy winner who played for the guests in the past.
Bostjan Nachbar is a natural-born mismatch at small forward, but Efes can use defensive stopper Sinan Guler, scoring machine Bootsy Thornton or swingman Cenk Akyol at either wings. If Richardson is not able to help his team, Rafa Martinez will have a five-star matchup against Rakocevic, while Nachbar will have to work hard in defense against Victor Claver.
Lishchuk and Javtokas will battle hard in the paint against Kerem Gonlum and Lawrence Roberts, in one of the biggest keys to this game. Valencia relies on power forward Dusko Savanovic to make the difference, as he can use his post skills and shooting range against Nachbar and Erwin Dudley.
Efes must run the floor, get the crowd involved and give Rakocevic and Thornton scoring chances. Valencia must slow down the game tempo, play aggressive and power the offensive boards with Lishchuk, Javtokas and Florent Pietrus. Expect a high-level game at the state-of-the-art Sinan Erdem Arena, as both teams are already in a dangerous situation in Group D and need to get a win right away.
To watch tonight's game, follow these simple steps:
- Go to Sportingbet.com
- Register a new account (it's free)
- Select the Euroleague match you want to watch
- Your small subscripion fee will be refunded to your account in free bets