The Spanish derby of the round is attracting a lot of attention because there is an amazing history of their previous encounters. Let’s start with the new head coach of Baskonia, Dusko Ivanovic, who just replaced Velimir Perasovic 2 weeks ago. He was former F.C. Barcelona coach between 2005-2008 and at that moment after 5 years in Vitoria, where he previously lead Baskonia. What is more interesting is that in 2008 he went back to the Basques winning that season the Spanish Supercup and the next one being named Spanish League Coach of the Year. But what I think is even more surprising: Dusko Ivanovic won the Spanish League finals in 2010, eliminating the historical team of F.C. Barcelona (who won the Euroleague title that season) with 3-0. Incredible, isn’t it?
During the modern era, F.C. Barcelona brought in a lot of ex-Baskonia players, like Pete Mickeal, Marcelinho Huertas, Maciej Lampe, Adam Hanga and many others. That’s why the connections between these two clubs are very deep, making the derby even more interesting.
I expect a tough fight because now Baskonia has no other option than to consider every game like their most important one if they want to have a chance for the playoffs. But on the other side, the injuries they have will be a big minus in this battle, when they face the Euroleague title contender, who smashed Real Madrid by 20 last week. Exactly because of their health problems, Baskonia lost the last games with an enormous margin even against average teams like Valencia Basket or Alba Berlin
Even against a very motivated Baskonia, F.C. Barcelona has to win it without any problem. The difference between the rosters at this moment is huge and the goal of each time very different. This is definitely not Baskonia’s year, while the Catalans are aiming for the Final4 glory at the end of May, in Koln, when they can be crowned after exactly 10 years from their last Euroleague trophy.