By Aris Barkas/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Iberostar Tenerife won the Basketball Champions League trophy back in 2017, in the first season of the new competition. However, last season they couldn’t get past the Round of 16, where they were eliminated by eventual Final Four participant UCAM Murcia and history might repeat itself on Wednesday.
Despite entering the Round of 16 with an impressive 12-2 record, Tenerife was defeated by Promitheas Patras on the road by 12 points (69-57). That was just the first lost game on the road for Tenerife in the current BCL season, after dropping two home games during the regular season, losing just one point to PAOK (66-65) and by two to Umana Reyer Venecia (80-78).
Still, losing to a well-oiled team like Promitheas was not a surprise. Tenerife has lost four straight games for the first time since 2015, including the Spanish Liga Endesa Games and also the Copa Del Rey.
In order to get to the quarterfinals, Tenerife has to beat Promitheas by 13 points, a feat which is hard but by no means impossible. After all, Promitheas is playing for the first time in any continental competition and has already produced admirable results which are quite impressive for a “rookie” club in this level.
But Tenerife needs to bounce back and it seems that it’s hard to do it without Thadd McFadden who parted ways one month ago with the club. The decision was mutual according to the official announcement. McFadden was injured and stayed out of action for six weeks and after his return, he barely averaged six points in the four games that he had played before being released.
On the other hand, McFadden has started the season admirably, averaging roughly 15 points and three assists in the first 11 games of the season.
It’s hard to say at this point what may have happened and if McFadden would have been in shape for the Round of 16. The cold hard fact is that Tenerife without him, or without someone to fill his shoes, scored just 57 points last week, despite an average of 81.4 ppg so far in the season.
And while you can blame a bad shooting night for that since the Spaniards made just three out of 20 three-pointers – despite averaging 37% in the season – Tenerife has to achieve a 13-point win on Wednesday in order to avoid a second-straight early exit from the BCL.