Sunday, Bilbao Basket will host Baxi Manresa in the Spanish league. It had to be an interesting duel between 2 teams that proved their great level so far this season. Coming from the second league, Bilbao Basket with legendary Alex Mumbru on the charge is having an excellent start of the season, being at the moment on the 5th spot. On the other side, we have Pedro Martinez, one of the most serious coaches in Liga Endesa, leading his team to an impressive European campaign in BasketballCL.
I think that Bilbao Basket will win the derby because:
- the Basque squad is on very good shape, they are together with Zaragoza the only teams that have beaten both Real Madrid and F.C. Barcelona this season.
- Baxi Manresa played at Turk Telekom only in 7 players (!!!), because of the injuries and the flu that are affecting their roster. They stayed tough till halftime in against the Turkish squad, but then, in the 3rd quarter, the shorter rotation made them fall and eventually lose the game. Even if some of their players will be available against Bilbao Basket, I doubt they can resist the entire game, in front of a team ready to hammer you from the first seconds.
- It is very difficult to win in Bilbao’s arena because more than 10 000 of fans of the local teams are giving them each round the necessary support to win the home-games. Actually, the Basques have lost only 2 games this season in their home-court.
- Unlike the visitors who will be tired from their long trips, coming back from Ankara, Bilbao Basket had a week to rest their players because they are not competing in any European competition this year. This is a huge advantage for them in order to prepare better the domestic league’s games.
Photo: Bilbao Basket Facebook