The interesting part of the season is here. The part where we begin to see what kind of season the team might have. It’s time for the Top 16. The objective is no other than to reach the quarter-finals of the Euroleague, and the higher Barça finish in the group, the better.
FC Barcelona come into this evening’s game after losing to Madrid (98-84) this weekend in the Liga Endesa. Barça must now focus on their match against the experienced Turkish side, a team that have a couple of former Liga Endesa players on their roster. Barça finished third in the regular phase of the competition, which means they will kick off this portion of the tournament at the Palau Blaugrana. The match will be broadcast by Esport3 and Canal+ Deporters.
On the fitness front, there are a few players that are still recovering from injury and their availability for the match won’t be known until hours before tipoff. After the match in Madrid, the team have to start the second phase of the competition on the right foot, and that means winning at home.
Efes have a new manager, Evangelos Angelou, and five former Liga Endesa players (Planinic, Savanovic, Vasileiadis, Barac and Bjalica). In addition to these five experienced players, the Turkish team have dangerous men like Jamon Gordon, who is a fantastic defender and quite possibly their most consistent player. Scottie Hopson (15.5 points per average and 6.3) is also a player Barça will have to keep tabs on.
The Turkish team are on a four-game winning streak in the competition, their last defeat was against Real Madrid (61-86).