U-BT Cluj will host Frutti Extra Bursaspor in the BT Arena tomorrow in a game that counts for Round 15 of the current EuroCup season.
Just like in the EuroLeague, every game matters in the EuroCup too and for U-BT every game left in the group is a must-win in order to stay in the playoff race. With a 4-10 record, the Romanian champions are three wins behind the 8th spot with just 4 rounds left to play. Meanwhile, for Bursaspor, a win tomorrow is also crucial as they are currently in a four-team tie with a 7-7 record and are one win behind a place that would secure home-court advantage in the playoffs.
While U-BT is on a three-game losing streak in the EuroCup, the last game was played one month ago (a 19-point defeat in Brescia) and since then the black and white team won the Romanian Cup in convincing fashion and also two domestic league games, where they are 1st in the standings. Of course, the level of the EuroCup cannot be compared with the Romanian League, but U-BT looked good in the past couple of weeks and there are no injuries to hold them back.
Meanwhile, Bursaspor played only two games in the past month, as games were rescheduled because of the tragic earthquake that hit Turkey. Last Thursday, they beat French side JL Bourg in the EuroCup, an important win that keeps Bursaspor in the race for a Top 4 finish in the group. On Sunday, Dusan Alimpijevic’s team lost against EuroLeague champions Anadolu Efes, a result that keeps them in 5th place in the Turkish League.
An important absence for Bursaspor will be Ahmet Duverioglu, who decided to temporarily step away from basketball. For the Romanian team, Andrija Stipanovic will miss the encounter with an injury.
U-BT usually performs well when playing at home, beating Joventut, Brescia and Cedevita and losing by only 2,3 and 5 points against Lietkabelis, Ulm and Venezia. Still, Bursaspor has a roster with a lot of quality and is slightly favourite in tomorrow’s game.
Photo credit: Eurocup