19 September, 2017
02 May, 2018
4 Evaldas Kairys | Photo: Fatlind Obertinca
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Demir Insaat, Nevezis, Egis Kormend and Alba Fehervar clash in evenly-matched Group J

MUNICH (FIBA Europe Cup) - The race for the two tickets to the Play-Offs can be expected to be a close one in Group J, with Demir Insaat, BC Nevezis, Egis Kormend and Alba Fehervar forming an evenly-matched four-team set.

After reaching the Round of 16 last season, Demir Insaat and Kormend might be considered the slight favorites due to their experience, but their rivals from Szekesfehervar and Kedainiai will be out to prove that notion wrong.

BC Nevezis (LTU)

Nevezis have been one of the most unpredictable teams in the competition on a week-by-week basis. On the one hand, they were the only team in Group B to lose to last-placed SL Benfica. On the other, they were also the only ones to come out victorious against second-placed Bakken Bears in Aarhus, demolishing their rivals by 26 points on the last day of action in the Regular Season to claim the top spot in the standings.

Regular Season: 1st place in Group B, 4-2 record
Offense: #784.7 PPG
Defense: #16 – 77.3 PPG
Domestic championship: 9th place in the LKL in Lithuania, 4-10 record
Player to watch: The experienced 31-year-old veteran Valerii Likhodei from Russia has been doing wonders for coach Ramunas Cvirka's side, averaging 13.2 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game, while shooting three-pointers at a 48.6 percent clip.

Demir Insaat (TUR)

Demir Insaat slipped up only once in the Regular Season to top Group H with a 5-1 record, completing the Group Phase in pole position for the second year running in the FIBA Europe Cup. Having made it past the Second Round last year as well, the Buyukcekmece club will undoubtedly expect to make the Play-Offs once again.

Regular Season: 1st place in Group G, 5-1 record
Offense: #15 – 79.7 PPG
Defense: #3 – 68.2 PPG
Domestic championship: 13th place in the Turkish Basketball Super League, 3-7 record
Player to watch: Bracey Wright has carried the majority of the weight for Demir Insaat offensively in the FIBA Europe Cup, averaging 19.4 points, 4.7 assists and 3.7 rebounds per game. He can be expected to continue being the go-to guy for the Turkish club in the future.

Egis Kormend (HUN)

Egis Kormend were the only team to qualify for the Second Round with a negative point differential after finishing the Regular Season with two double-digit losses. However, the Hungarian side could afford to take their foot off the gas down the final stretch, as they were among the first teams to secure qualification after starting the campaign 4-0.

Regular Season: 2nd place in Group D, 4-2 record
Offense: #16 – 78.3 PPG
Defense: #24 – 80.5 PPG
Domestic championship: 3rd place in the Division A in Hungary, 8-1 record
Player to watch: Eric Fanning had to miss a couple of games in the second part of the Regular Season and head coach Gasper Potocnik will be pleased to have the 25-year-old forward, who is averaging 14.1 points and 5.3 rebounds, back in the lineup when action resumes.

Alba Fehervar (HUN)

Only one other team made it to the Second Round with a 3-3 record and Alba Fehervar have the fourth-placed Bnei Rav-Bariach Herzliya to thank for making it out of Group F, with the already-eliminated Israeli side knocking out Proximus Spirou on the last day of the Regular Season.

Regular Season: 2nd place in Group F, 3-3 record
Offense: #1976.0 PPG
Defense: #6 – 72.7 PPG
Domestic championship: 4th place in the Division A in Hungary, 6-4 record
Player to watch: The Hungarians are 0-2 without their captain Peter Lorant in the FIBA Europe Cup this season and 3-1 with the 32-year-old power forward available to play. He put up good numbers across the board with averages of 15.0 points, 6.0 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game.