Last 32, Group L analysis

Dec 30, 2013 by Print
Last 32, Group L analysis
Crvena Zvezda Belgrade
Nizhny Novgorod
Panionios BC
Bilbao Basket
Group L will bring excitement, great home crowds and a lot of action to the Last 32. Bilbao Basket, which made it to the Eurocup title game last season, qualified on a late basket by team leader Alex Mumbru. Nizhny Novgorod has a mix of experienced players - like Dijon Thompson and Primoz Brezec - and young guns - like Semen Antonov - which could pay off well this season. Crvena Zvezda Telekom enters its ninth Eurocup season with a very balanced squad led by a deep frontline featuring Boban Marjanovic, Ivan Radenovic and Rasko Katic. Panionios Athens relies on regular season scoring champion Errick McCollum and Marc Antonio Carter to make the difference in the Last 32. Get ready for a big fight to reach the elimination rounds!
Dimitry Khvostov - Nizhny Novgorod - EC13
Dimitry Khvostov
All teams feature excellent floor generals and their matchups in this group will be critical. Bilbao relies on experienced point guard Raul Lopez to make the difference due to his clutch shooting, great ballhandling and outstanding basketball IQ. Dimitry Khvostov of Nizhny Novgorod is seeing more playing time and showing what he is capable of, including a game-winning shot against Aykon TED Ankara Kolejliler. A different kind of playmaker, Errick McCollum of Panionios leads the Eurocup in scoring and wants to keep filling the baskets in the Last 32. Crvena Zvezda relies on DeMarcus Nelson, Branko Lazic and Charles Jenkins to share the point guard duties and make the team play up-tempo.
Branko Lazic - Crvena Zvezda Telekom - EB13
Branko Lazic
Dairis Bertans - Bilbao Basket - EC13 (photo Cedevita)
Dairis Bertans
Group L features some young-but-experienced players ready to take it to the next level. Fran Pilepic and Dairis Bertans share the shooting guard duties in Bilbao. At age 24, Bertans is in his seventh Eurocup season with four different teams. While McCollum is only 25, a Panionios teammate two years younger, Christos Saloustros, has earned increased playing time at forward and could be ready to surprise some people in the Last 32. Zvezda has made the most of 25-year-old center Boban Marjanovic, but at age 20, Luka Mitrovic is a key player in its rotation. Jaka Blazic, only 23, is set for stardom, too. Nizhny Novgorod's silent leader is 24-year-old Semen Antonov, who comes off a really solid regular season - and is ready for more.
Christos Saloustros - Panionios Athens
Christos Saloustros
It comes as no surprise to say that winning on the road will be critical in this round. Bilbao has a 24-4 home record in the competition, Panionios won 5 of its last 6 games in front of its fans, Zvezda has a 31-19 record at home but has been selling out most of its continental games in each of the last couple of seasons and Nizhny Novgorod has lost only one Eurocup home game this season, winning its other four by an average margin of 23.2 points. In order words, every road win will be good as gold - and each home loss will be hard to bounce back from. Expect some great basketball atmosphere along the way, as the Eurocup just gets even more exciting after the holiday break!