Tonight, Joventut Badalona will host Umana Reyer Venezia in a game that counts for Round 13 of the current EuroCup season.
While both teams had high aspirations before the season started, the team from Catalunya seems to be the better team and is the favourite to win this game. After a difficult period in November when they lost three consecutive games in the EuroCup, the green and black team is now on a four-game winning streak and climbed up to the 4th place in Group A with a 7-5 record. Including the ACB League too, Carles Duran’s team won 7 of the last 8 games and looks to be in excellent shape (they did suffer a 28-point defeat three days ago against Real Madrid, but it’s something that was expected, Real playing the best basketball in Europe so far this season). In the past four or five seasons Badalona has always been a contender for the EuroCup title but they came up short every time. This season, the EuroCup is maybe more balanced than ever, and at least 7-8 teams have real hopes of winning the trophy and qualifying for next season’s EuroLeague. Joventut is one of these teams and the veterans with EuroLeague experience could be decisive when the playoffs come.
Venezia is another regular presence in the EuroCup and a team that usually has high hopes for the competition. Still, this season of the Italian team in the EuroCup is a disappointment. Neven Spahija’s team is currently out of the playoff picture, sitting in 8th place in the group with a 4-8 record. They suffered two heavy defeats in the last two rounds, losing by 30 in Paris and by 19 in Belgrade against Hapoel Tel Aviv. The fact that they have a good roster and should be higher in the EuroCup can be seen from their results in the domestic league, where they are currently in 1st place with a 10-3 record.
Image credit: EuroLeague