Tip off (EL 3g.) – Return and troubles

2014-10-29T15:29:23+00:00 2015-05-23T16:13:38+00:00.

Aris Barkas

29/Oct/14 15:29

Eurohoops.net

It’s round 3 of Euroleague’s regular season and things are starting to get hot. Zeljko Obradovic returns to OAKA for the second time after leaving Panathinaikos, while Valencia, Unics Kazan and EA7 Milano are still searching for their first win

By Nikos Varlas/ varlas@eurohoops.net

It’s round 3 of Euroleague’s regular season and things are starting to get hot. Zeljko Obradovic returns to OAKA for the second time after leaving Panathinaikos, while Valencia, Unics Kazan and EA7 Milano are still searching for their first win. On the contrary, CSKA Moscow, Real Madrid, Barcelona and Unicaja Malaga are on their way to a solid 3-0 start.

Eurohoops game of the week: PanathinaikosFenerbahce/ Ulker

Every time Zelimir Obradovic returns to OAKA, after winning 5 Euroleague titles and in total 23 trophies with Panathinaikos, the game turns into a historical event. Zoc’s name will be once more chanted by the Green fans, but this time the result of this game is more than important for hosts and their new coach Dusko Ivanovic.

Home wins are a must for the Greeks (1-1), specially against the Turkish champions (2-0) in order to stay on course for a Top16 ticket. The only player missing this time for Panathinaikos will be inured DeMarcus Nelson, as Mavrokefalidis is ready to go. Fenerbahce/ Ulker is still building its chemistry and has found a leader in Andrew Goudelock. The game in Athens seems to be the biggest test of the team until now. It will be a game to watch and also a milestone will be reached, as Dimitris Diamantidis, the all time Euroleague leader in assists, needs just one more in order to have 1.000.

Honorable mention: Bayern Munich – EA7 Milano

Yes it’s a game from the same “group of death”, because even if we are still in the third week of the regular season, this result may be the key in the final standings. Bayern (1-1), like Panathinaikos, needs to defend its home court in order to get to Top16. The Italian champs, however, after a 0-2 start they just need a win, or else their bad start may be their demise. EA7 Milano has a more experienced roster, but with the new American players of the team still being inconsistent and the solid performances of coach Pesic’s team in Munich we expect a really hard fought game, like last week’s contest of the Germans against Panathinaikos.

Home court affair: Crvena ZvezdaValencia

It’s a crucial game in Group D and the time has come for Valencia to regain some lost ground after a 0-2 start, having low offensive production (66 ppg) and mediocre shooting efficiency (44,6% in 2p., 28,3% in 3p.). The good news is that Dubljevic finally returns to action and he will make his Euroleague debut. Still Dwight Buycks needs time to adapt to European ball and to the demans of coach Perasovic.

However, the Serbs (1-1), despite losing to Neptunas, are a very strong team when playing at “Kombank Arena”. In theory, Crvena Zvezda can get to Top16, just by getting home wins in this group and Valencia needs a road win in order to cover the home loss by Olympiacos. Valencia was considered a candidate even for the top of the group, but one more defeat will derail the team.

Under the microscope: Alba Berlin – Maccabi Tel Aviv

The Germans (0-2) started their season against CSKA Moscow at home and Unicaja on the road. The almost pulled an upset in Spain, but now they have to get their first win, in order to stay on Top16 course. Defending champion Maccabi Tel Aviv (1-1) after being crushed in Moscow, has to react. Of course the Israelis are a new team, compared to the unit which won the title, and Alba is not an easy opponent. We expect a close game in which Alba will have to improve its rebounding, after being last in the league until now in this category.

The question: Laboral Kutxa – Galatasaray

Both teams are at 1-1, both are facing many on and off the court issues, which have financial nature. The hosts already made some roster changes, with Ryan Gomes leaving the team and Sasha Vujacic entering the mix, the guests have cut their ties with Nolan Smith and due to unpaid salaries a number of players has an uncertain future in Istanbul. So who will prevail? No one can predict, however the defensive effort – or the lack of – from Galatasaray will be more than crucial…

Euroleague 2014-2015 – 3rd Day

Unicaja Malaga

Limoges

Crvena Zvezda T.

Valencia

FC Bayern

EA7 Milano

Neptunas

Olympiacos

Panathinaikos

Fenerbahce

Laboral Kutxa

Galatasaray MP

Cedevita Zagreb

CSKA Moscow

Alba Berlin

Maccabi Tel Aviv

Anadolu Efes

Zalgiris

F.C. Barcelona

PGE Turow

Real Madrid

Nizhny Novgorod

UNICS Kazan

Banco di Sardegna Sassari