Bursaspor is looking to avoid its third home loss of the season. In Round 3, Promitheas Patras scored an 84-93 come-from-behind victory at Tofas Spor Salonu. Metin Turen and Malik Newman led Bursasport with 20 points apiece. Gran Canaria comes off its first EuroCup loss this season, 84-68 against Cedevita Olimpija Ljubljana. Jacob Wiley led Gran Canaria with 15 points and 9 rebounds. Both teams have deep rosters and versatile players, so expect an intense, tactical game.
Maxim Mutaf comes off a great performance against Promitheas, in which he finished with 16 points and 3 assists in 22 minutes. He scored in many different ways, attacking the basket, burying stop-and-pop jumpers and striking from beyond the arc. He will test his all-around scoring skills against Stan Okoye, an outstanding shooter with unlimited range. Okoye is a better athlete who can even help on the boards, but scoring is what he does best, either driving to the hole or creating his own shots.
These teams face each other for the first time. Gran Canaria already played in Bursa in EuroCup action once, when it registered a 98-94 loss against Tofas on October 17, 2017. Bursaspor forward Kenny Kadji, who played for rival Tofas, had 19 points. Gran Canaria has a 4-10 record on Turkish soil, but one of its biggest EuroCup wins came on the road against Pinar Karsiyaka Izmir, 74-75, in the second leg of the 2015 quarterfinals.
Keys to victory: Bursaspor
Bursaspor has to improve its defense. The Turkish powerhouse is allowing 93.0 points on average and opponents are shooting comfortably. Bursaspor allows opponents to hit 59.4% of their shots inside the arc and 39.7% from downtown. Lowering those numbers is mandatory for the hosts to be more competitive from now on. Daniel Hamilton and Xavier Munford combined for 3 points against Promitheas and are expected to give their team a boost, especially on offense, against a tough opponent.
Keys to victory: Gran Canaria
Gran Canaria was outrebounded 46-33 in Ljubljana last week and needs to improve that right away, relying on energy players Wiley, Beqa Burjanadze and Matt Costello to do so. Gran Canaria committed only 11 turnovers, scored just 13 of 33 shots inside the arc (39.4%), which led to a big road loss. Improving its effectiveness on offense is mandatory for the club, so its most experienced players like Andrew Albicy, Javier Beiran and Okoye must take a step forward to focus the team.