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Barça Regal - Montepaschi

Barça Regal once again face an unbeaten side, who are coming to the Palau Blaugrana as group leaders. Xavi Pascual and his men have a tough test tonight against Montepaschi Siena (20.45h, Esport 3).

The Italians are the only side that is 5-0 in the Euroleague Top 16. Barcelona’s mission is therefore to dethrone the in-form group leader by showing the same kind of confidence theta they have shown in recent encounters. And after ending Caja Laboral’s 16-0 run last week, Barça are clearly in the mood for interrupting winning streaks.

No Navarro

But they will be without the unfit Juan Carlos Navarro as they take on Luca Banchi’s charges. And Navarro is not alone in the treatment room, for guard Víctor Sada is also doubtful due to back concerns.

Versatility and scoring strong

Montepaschi is a side that plays with some thrilling improvisation. It may not be the tallest team, but the all the players are mightily versatile. They are all about spectacular scoring thanks to a magnificent forward line, and have a host of alternatives and tactical variations in their rearguard. Their ability to create scoring plays from anywhere on the court makes them one of the most exciting teams to watch in European basketball.

North American Bobby Brown is the number one man at Siena. He’s averaging almost 20 points a game, and is lethal from every position. He is also a wonderful director of the Siena game, and it is largely thanks to his expert governance that players like David Moss and Viktor Sanikidze make such devastating use of space and pass the ball around with such apparent ease.

Thursday night promises one of the most dramatic encounters of the year at the Palau, with a Top 16 fixture against a fascinating opponent that like Barça Regal are looking to go all the way in the Euroleague. This is Barça’s chance to upset one of the strongest teams in the competition, and at the same time put themselves in pole position for a place in the quarter finals.

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