Valencia wants to match the enrachado Panathinaikos
The ‘taronja’ return to La Fonteta after winning and losing in Belgrade and Tel Aviv
MADRID, Dec. 12 (.) –
Valencia Basket receives Panathinaikos at La Fonteta this Tuesday (8:45 p.m.), on matchday 13 of the Euroleague Regular Phase, with the intention of forgetting the last setback in Tel Aviv and leveling up in the table with some Athenians who arrive in full winning streak and as a serious threat to the ‘taronja’.
After two difficult outings resulting in a victory in Belgrade against Partizan (96-100) and a defeat in Tel Aviv against Maccabi (84-68), Valencia Basket returns to its fiefdom with the intention and desire to stop a Panathinaikos, which has already accumulated four wins in a row.
It will be a level test, to gain confidence and prestige in case of victory. Álex Mumbrú’s men must take advantage of the field factor to win that ‘jackpot’ despite being a mere Regular Phase day. With the addition of getting 6-7 in the table and moving away from the lower zone and approaching the ‘play-offs’.
“It’s a physical team, that plays a lot one-on-one and since the arrival of Bacon, who has given them a lot and is a great scorer, they have changed a lot and lately they are playing much better. They come from winning on difficult courts and it will be a tough game. Especially defensively we will have to be very good and very good as a team”, valued the ‘taronja’ coach.
Valencia have won the last three games against PAO at La Fonteta. To prevent this dynamic from changing, the Valencians must try to stop Dwayne Bacon, the top scorer for the greens with an average of 20.3 points. But also ‘dry’ Arturas Godaitis, Georgios Papagiannis or Nate Wolters, other dangers in the ranks of Dejan Radonjic. With return included of Derrick Williams.
The doubt in the ranks of the local team, which in the Endesa League overwhelmed Bàsquet Girona (104-69) led by Marc Gasol, is point guard Chris Jones, who is still in cotton pads after arthritis in his right knee. Millán Jiménez, Sam Van Rossom and Martin Hermannsson continue to be low for sure.
VALENCIA BASKET: Harper, López-Arostegui, Pradilla, Web III and Dubljevic –possible starting five–; Claver, Puerto, Prepelic, Ferrando, Radebaugh, Alexander and Rivero.
PANATHINAIKOS: Lee, Bacon, P.Kalaitzakis, Williams and Papagiannis –possible starting five–; Bochoridis, G.Kalaitzakis, Samontourov, Avidalas, Chougkaz, Ponitka and Gudaitis.
–REFEREES: Lottermoser, Jovcic and Laurinavicius.
–PAVILION: La Fonteta.