26 September, 2016
30 April, 2017
1 Adom Jacko (Bnei Herzliya) (photo: Vladimir Kralik)
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FIBA Europe Cup: Tuesday Focus

MUNICH (FIBA Europe Cup) – The Second Round of the FIBA Europe Cup will tip off in Minsk on Tuesday, as Group J winners Tsmoki welcome Group F runners-up Bnei Herzliya in what promises to be an exciting and evenly-matched contest.

There are four more games scheduled for the same day, with the duel between Alba Fehervar and U-BT Cluj-Napoca standing out as the most unpredictable of them all.

All FIBA Europe Cup games are available LIVE and FREE on YouTube.com/FIBA.

Group N: Tsmoki v Bnei Herzliya, 17:00 CET

Both Tsmoki Minsk and Bnei Herzliya got through the Regular Season without any major setbacks and clinched Second Round berth way ahead of schedule.

Despite being involved in a number of close-fought games, Tsmoki emerged as the best team in Group J with an excellent 5-1 mark, while the Israeli side finished second in Group F with a 4-3 record.

Minsk play-caller Igor Griszczuk has one of the better frontcourts in the competition in Djordje Gagic, Nemanja Milosevic and Laimonas Kisielius, who have been destroying opponents on the glass.

The Dragons have outrebounded their opponents in every single game and rank 3rd among all teams in rebounding with an average of 40.8 boards per game. However, Bnei Herzliya are quite good in this aspect in their own right and rank 7th with the likes of Jeff Adrien, Halil Kanacevic and Karam Mashour doing the majority of the work.

Meanwhile, Tsmoki’s backcourt of Dru Joyce and Justin Gray, responsible for 29.0 points and 10.5 assists per game, matches up well with the high-octane duo of Taurean Green and Stephen Dennis, who combine for 28.7 points and 9.2 assists per contest for the Israeli team.

Could home court advantage be the key to the game, as Bnei Herzliya have suffered both their losses on the road? It is tough to say, but there’s the other side of the coin as well – Tsmoki’s lone loss actually came at home.

Group O: Alba Fehervar v U-BT Cluj-Napoca, 18:30 CET

Alba Fehervar finished the Regular Season with a painful 29-point loss on the road to Elan Chalon that prevented the Hungarian side from claiming the Group A crown, as they were overtaken in the standings by the French side.

Branislav Dzunic’s side, who ended up with a 4-2 record, had plenty of time to get the painful defeat out of their system and start the Second Round with a clean slate.

Despite the superior 5-1 mark, U-BT Cluj-Napoca also finished the first phase of the competition second, losing the head-to-head tiebreaker against Group G winners Gaziantep.

However, the similarities between the sides end with the fact that both of them finished second in their respective groups. The style of basketball played by the teams varies drastically: Fehervar likes an up-tempo game, while Cluj-Napoca have more of a defensive mentality.

Alba rank 6th in the FIBA Europe Cup in scoring at 86.3 points per game, while U-BT Cluj-Napoca are only 25th at 77.5 points per game. On the defensive end, the story is inverse. The Romanian team is allowing opponents to score only 72.0 points per game, while their Hungarian counterparts concede 82.1 points per game.

Kyndall Dykes is the number one offensive scorer for U-BT Cluj-Napoca with 16.0 points and 3.0 assists per game and shutting him down will be Alba’s top priority.

Meanwhile, the Romanian team’s defence will have to focus on Justin Edwards who is putting up 17.7 points, 4.3 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game and is one of the top performers in the league.