Bilbao – Pinar Karsiyaka: the derby of the week in Champions League

The most difficult group of the Basketball Champions League is by far group F where 4 powerhouses are fighting for only 2 qualifying spots. Brose Bamberg, Fortitudo Bologna, Bilbao Basket and Pinar Karsiyaka, all of them deserving to reach the next stage, that’s why the battle will be very tough and every game will count like a do-or-die. Because Fortitudo Bologna lost yesterday Ethan Happ and and Matteo Fantinelli is as well doubtfully against Bamberg, the true derby of the group will be between the Spanish team and the visitors from Turkey.

Both teams have a great chance to win, but I have to admit that Pinar has a huge odd for the real level of their basketball. 3.50 on them to win is simply too much, while 1.30 on Bilbao is nothing.

I think Pinar Karsiyaka could make problems to Bilbao especially now when D. J. Kennedy is recovered and he played last two games in the Turkish league. Their roster is more than complete and the good part is Pinar maintained 90% of their players from the last season. The chemistry is excellent, the group cohesion awesome, the rotation one of the largest in the competition.
On the other side, Bilbao Basket will always be a tough competitor and even more at home. Even if they started very bad the season in Spain with only one win in 6 games, the Basques could surprise many opponents. They play smart, trying to use every ball possession at the highest. Their huge advantage could be the fact they rested since 11th of October when they played their last official game against Joventut.

Image: FIBA

Gratian Cormos is a life coach, book writer and mentor living in the city of Barcelona, Spain.

He is the author of the book “How to bet on basketball” available here for only 11 euros.

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