The Steven Gray factor

2021-01-26T14:36:30+00:00 2021-01-27T13:00:14+00:00.

Aris Barkas

26/Jan/21 14:36

Eurohoops.net

Steven Gray has to fight tonight in order to continue his Basketball Champions League season with Igokea after a stellar start with Peristeri

By Aris Barkas/ barkas@eurohoops.net

Both Igokea and Peristeri are fighting for their BCL lives tonight. Peristeri needs to beat VEF Riga on the road by 4 points or more in Group E and Igokea must beat already qualified Turk Telekom in Group G.

And in the middle of those two stories sits Steven Gray.  The BCL October MVP left Peristeri and signed with Igokea ten days ago. That’s a huge addition for Igokea which got the league leader in efficiency with an average rating of 23.5 per game and the league’s third-leading scorer with 21.3 points per game.

Gray is expected to make his debut with Igokea in the crucial duel against Turk Telekom. A win of Igokea will change the landscape of the competition. Hapoel Jerusalem, a perennial BCL contender, needs Igoeka to lose in order to advance to the next round. With Gray on board, the Bosnian club has more than a fighting chance against the Turks.

And what about Peristeri you ask?

Things are not looking good, since VEF also needs a win at home or a defeat by three points or less in order to advance. And things are more than difficult for Peristeri, since James Woodard, the latest signing of the Greek club is not eligible to play.

Since their impressive start of the season, Peristeri has made a coaching change with club icon Argiris Pedoulakis replacing up-and-coming Nikos Papanikolopoulos. Meanwhile, there have already used 10 non-Greek players on the roster and that’s the Basketball Champions League limit for the regular season.

That’s why Woodard can’t play in the crucial game against VEF, but he can be added to Peristeri’s roster for the Play-Offs, should they advance to the next stage.

So, it remains to be seen who will be part of the next phase with Gray having the stage to make his first BCL game with Igokea one for the ages.

UPDATE: The end of the story didn’t have twists and turns. Igokea was defeated but managed to qualify while Peristeri lost to VEF and was eliminated. Steve Gray scored 7 points for his new team.