26 September, 2016
30 April, 2017
8 Filip Adamovic (U-BT Cluj Napoca) (Photo: Sandor Manases)
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FIBA Europe Cup - Wednesday focus: Week 5

MUNICH (FIBA Europe Cup) – The penultimate week of FIBA Europe Cup action in the Regular Season will continue with a 22-team Wednesday which will give an opportunity for many of the teams to finally book a ticket to the Second Round.

Meanwhile, two of the eight teams already through to the next phase in U-BT Cluj-Napoca and BC Enisey will play for Group G and Group H crowns respectively, as they clash with powerful Turkish opponents for the second time this season.

We would like to remind you that you can watch all FIBA Europe Cup games LIVE and FREE on YouTube.com/FIBA.

Demir Insaat (3-1) - BC Enisey (4-0), 17:00 CET

The first meeting between the Group H leaders in Krasnoyarsk turned out to be a one-sided affair for much of the four quarters, with Enisey dictating the trends.

However, a late fourth-quarter Demir Insaat run allowed Ozhan Civgin’s side to take a large bite out of the deficit in the final minutes of the game, which kept them in play for first place in the standings before the return leg.

Nevertheless, it will be the Russian side who will have a nine-point edge in Istanbul, having won the previous clash 90-81. If Buyukcekmece were to claim a bounce-back win, points differential could play a crucial part in deciding the top spot.

Enisey center Frank Elegar finished the first game with a game-high 20 points, 11 rebounds and 2 blocks, creating the most problems for Demir Insaat on both ends of the floor.

Kenneth Hayes was one of the few Buyukcekmece players to find his groove in Russia, enjoying possibly the best game of the season individually with 18 points on 7-of-11 shooting from the field.

Demir Insaat won the other three games in the group by double digits, while Krasnoyarsk have only accomplished this feat once despite being the second-best scoring team in the FIBA Europe Cup with an average of 95.2 points.

Buyukcekmece are fourth on the same list, scoring 88.5 points on average and Enisey’s rebounding edge on the offensive glass and the second-chance opportunities it creates will likely be a much bigger worry for coach Civgin.

Already through to the Second Round, a win would clinch the Group H title for the Russian side. On the other hand, a victory for Demir Insaat would not only allow Buyukcekmece to join their counterparts in the next phase of the competition, but make the race for the top seed wide open.

U-BT Cluj-Napoca (4-0) - Gaziantep (3-1), 19:30 CET

With two more games remaining in the Regular Season, U-BT Cluj-Napoca have already reached their first goal in the competition by qualifying for the Second Round of the FIBA Europe Cup.

However, the play-caller of the Romanian team, Mihai Silvasan, asked his players not to take their foot of the gas pedal, especially with the Cluj-Napoca side facing a powerful Gaziantep side in the next game.

Having only won the away game in Gaziantep by a single point, a loss in Wednesday's game at home would likely see the in-form Romanian side drop to second in Group G standings.

Although Cluj-Napoca haven't been in great form, the Vlad Moldoveanu-led team did squeak out wins against KB Peja and Petrolina AEK at the Hori a Demian Sports Hall despite late drama.

Aside from the victory against KB Peja, Gaziantep also have not exactly blown away their opposition with stellar plays, but is only one game behind Cluj-Napoca with a 3-1 mark in the standings

There was finally some good news for the Turkish club on the home front, as Gaziantep won their first game in the Turkish BSL league over the weekend, ending a five-game losing streak.

Marcus Denmon, who scored 26 points, grabbed 5 rebounds and dished out 4 assists in the first game against Cluj-Napoca, is in fine form for the hosts of Wednesday’s clash, averaging 20.2 points and 6.0 rebounds per game in the FIBA Europe Cup this season.

For the Romanian side, who are slightly more defensive-minded, there is no clear-cut leader on the offensive end, one of Filip Adamovic, Kyndall Dykes, Aleskandar Rasic or Vlad Moldoveanu usually steps up and carries the scoring load on a given day.

A win would allow Cluj-Napoca to win Group G, while Gaziantep would secure a place in the Second Round and get pole position for the top spot if they managed to get revenge for the home loss.