In round 4 of Basketball Champions League, in Balikesir, Turkey we have an interesting duel between Bandirma and AEK Athens, two teams that suffered big changes through this summer. It’s a duel between a young team and an experienced one, with the final score open to many scenarios. Let’s see some stats about teams and who are more prepared for this game.
Bandirma (former Banvit), had a lot of changes throughout the summer with five new Americans players added, all of them in the prime of their career. In the start of the season, they had some problems, but now they’re in very good shape, with 3 wins in the last 3 games, away at Buyukcekmece and at home against San Pablo Burgos and Bursaspor. They will definitely aim to win this game and maintain a good form. In the game against Bursaspor, in the last TBL round, they won the game 72-62, despite scoring only 9 points in the second quarter. Only 7 players played more than 10 minutes in this game, with 4 of their starting players recording over 31 minutes on the field. Their bench, full of national young players can’t compete at a high level and won’t make any impact against bigger opponents. That’s a problem that will haunt Bandirma until the last game of the season. The main contributors in that game were: Omar Prewitt (21 points and 4 rebounds), Jaime Smith (19 points) and Emanuel Terry (9 points and 7 rebounds).
This season is one of the experiments for AEK Athens with many changes suffered in the summer. Unlike Bandirma, they added very experienced players to the squad like Keith Langford, Marcus Slaughter, Dimitris Mavroeidis or last players signed this Monday, Mario Chalmers. Alongside them, they have other players that can help and contribute, but the chemistry and the desire to play like a team it’s still a big problem for them. Now they have 2 wins in a row, against Antwerp Giants and Panionios and their aim is to win this game and work even harder to get a high teamwork level. In the game against Panionios, they easily won the game 91-61, where 11 players had at least 9 minutes of action each on the court. Main performers: Charis Giannopoulos (17 points and 5 rebounds), Howard Sant-Roos (11 points and 4 rebounds) and Stefan Jankovic (10 points).
I expect a balanced duel, where the impact of bench players will play a key role in the final score. If AEK can integrate Chalmers in the rotation and give him some minutes in this game, AEK will have an advantage here. Their roster looks more complete, longer and experienced, while Bandirma’s outside those American players, can’t count on anybody else the make a huge impact and help the team from the bench because all the Turkish players are around 21 years old.
Bogdan Vasile Tirc