By Eurohoops team/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Another jampacked day of Turkish Airline EuroLeague action full of interesting high stake games is ahead of us in Round 32.
In Friday’s opening tipoff, it’s essentially do-or-die at Final Four venue Zalgirio Arena, where host Zalgiris (16-15) and visiting Valencia (14-17) are in equal need of a victory to boost their playoffs qualification hopes.
Valencia has lost five of its last six games to see its playoff ambitions slowly evaporate, while Zalgiris grabbed a vital home win over Monaco on Wednesday – in large part thanks to 22 points from Ignas Bradzeikis – and now needs a second home win in three days to keep pushing for the top eight.
Partizan (17-14) will look to bounce back from Tuesday’s home loss to Barcelona against another title contender in Real Madrid (22-9), which has already qualified for the playoffs and secured home-court advantage. Partizan can qualify for the playoffs with a win if either Zalgiris or Baskonia lose their games this round.
This applies also to Maccabi, which will secure their spot in the playoffs if either Zalgiris or Baskonia are defeated.
Another game with plenty of playoff implications takes place at Buesa Arena, where Baskonia (16-15) hosts Fenerbahce (18-13). To pull off a big road win and secure playoff qualification, Dimitris Itoudis’s men will need to improve their perimeter defense against the league’s most prolific three-point shooting team.
A Greek derby at Peace and Friendship Stadium will give Olympiacos (22-9) the chance to warm up for the playoffs in the best possible style by testing itself against fast-improving but already-disqualified local rival Panathinaikos (11-20). The Reds have won the last 12 local derbies in the EuroLeague, including a colossal 71-95 victory in Athens in December.
Another busy week of action concludes in France, where ASVEL (8-23) will look to give its fans a reason to celebrate with a visit from Zvezda (14-17) which must win to keep its season alive.