Today in the openings of the Basketball Champions League, former champions and last year’s finalist Iberostar Tenerife will host Nizhny Novgorod. The Russians are coming to the island after a huge success in VTB United League, where they hammered the Euroleague powerhouse Zenit in Sankt-Petersburg. But my choice to win this game in BasketballCL is Iberostar Tenerife (including at least a handicap of -4,5/ -5,5 and total points scored by them over 77.5/78.5).
Actually, I think the Spanish team can smash Nizhny with a comfortable margin, scoring a lot of points because:
- Iberostar is a very tough team at home and they prove it through the years. Tenerife was during the last seasons a very difficult court to win in. The best proof: a couple of days ago they have almost beaten Real Madrid in the domestic league. Only in the last minute, thanks to the miraculous shot of Sergio Llull, Real Madrid secured the victory.
- It is a very long travel for visitors to get to the island. The flight from Sankt Petersburg to Santa Cruz de Tenerife takes more than 8 hours and the Russian team will be very tired at the game time.
- Nizhny Novgorod had only 2 days between the game played in VTB United League and this encounter, so the time for recover in very short. Iberostar Tenerife played at home the last 2 games and had an additional day to rest, that’s why they will be in better physical shape.
- The good news for the Spanish squad is that Kyle Singler is completely recovered from the injury and he had very good numbers in the last 2 games played for the Canarian club.
- Last but not least, the Russians coming to Tenerife are changing a lot their time zone and the weather, which definitely is affecting every team.