Duel d’alçada per seguir ferms a Europa FOTO: ARXIU - FCB

This Friday (20.45, Esport 3), the Euroleague returns to the Palau with a game of the highest quality. Barça Regal, arguably the best side in the first round, entertain Fenerbahce Ulker, who have one of the strongest sides on the continent.

But the Turks hardly cruised into the Top 16 and had to beat Mapooro Cantú in their final game to ensure passage. But the side coached by Simone Pianigiani is still one of the favourites to march on to the Final Four.

McCalebb, Sato, Batiste and co

Fenerbahce Ulker are coming to the Palau with a strong starting five. They are led by US guard Bo McCalebb, who made his name playing for Montepaschi Siena and has been averaging 12 points this season.
Ex Panathinaikos player Romain Sato, the swingman with a Barça past, plays alongside young Bojan Bogdanovic, who’s averaging 11 points. These two form a near perfect partnership, with Sato providing strength and scores and Bogdanovic punishing defences with his outstanding skill.

The starting five is complemented by two fine pivots in another former Panathinaikos man, Mike Batiste, and another familiar face at the Palau, Australian David Andersen, another partnership that combines physique with technical ability.

Piangiani’s side is also home to the versatile Emir Preldzic and Turkish guard Onan Omer, making them a team capable of creating danger all over the court.

Need for authority

A Barça Regal win would be a major blow to the main Euroleague rivals, showing that their European form is as strong as ever. It should also help to boost morale in the domestic league, where the team is struggling to produce its best hoops. To do that, the fans will be hoping that Ante Tomic can maintain the exceptional form shown up until now, while the reappearance of the likes of Navarro, Lorbek and Marcelinho has also come as wonderful news to Xavi Pascual and his side.


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