Veteran guards Gal Mekel and Toto Forray will go against each other once again in 7DAYS EuroCup action on Wednesday night when MoraBanc Andorra hosts Dolomiti Energia Trento in a Group B clash. Both teams are looking to bounce back from opening-round losses and both will need the experience and veteran presence of their guards to get the job done.
Mekel and Forray have plenty of EuroCup experience under their belts. The 35-year-old Forray is a legend in Trento, where he is playing his 10th season with the club. Every one of his 83 appearances in the competition has come with Trento and he helped the team reach the EuroCup semifinals in 2015.
Forray is known for his defensive presence and no stats speaks better of what he does on the floor than his 1.2 steals per game. So much so that that Forray leads the EuroCup charts in total steal with 96 since he made his debut in 2015. The next best player on that list in that period has 88 steals.
On the other hand, the 33-year-old Mekel debuted in the competition during the 2010-11 season and since then he has competed in seven different EuroCup seasons for seven different clubs. He has played half as many games as Forray because only once did Mekel play more than seven games in a season.
Mekel has a career average of 8.8 points and 4.9 assists, which is higher than those of Forray, but the Trento guard has fired up a lot more shots and been a lot more accurate from behind the three-point line than Mekel.
This will be the fourth time that the two players will face each other. The first two of their meetings came during the 2017-18 season when Mekel was with Gran Canaria. Their teams split home wins and Mekel averaged 7.0 points and 5.5 assists in those two meetings while Forray contributed 4 points and 3 steals in Trento's home win.
The third and - to date - final time Mekel and Forray were on opposite ends of a EuroCup game was a year later when Mekel was with Zenit St Petersburg, which stormed through Trento as a 60-93 winner in October 2018. Mekel shined in that game with 11 points, 10 assists, 4 rebounds and 3 steals. Forray, on the other hand, had 6 points, 2 assists and 2 rebounds in a losing effort.
Mekel will hope for a similar performance and a continuation of his good performances against Trento to help Andorra get on the winning track, while Forray hopes for a better outcome this time as he will see Mekel across from him for the fourth time in his career and with a third different team.