Today a crucial game will take place in Izmir. Two Champions League powerhouses will fight for a spot in the Quarterfinals of the European competition. Pinar needs not only the victory but at least 5 points margin since Brindisi won the first game with 4 in Italy.
Both teams are great but I chose Pinar Karsiyaka to advance and we took -4.5 handicap as a good one. My reasons are:
- Pinar Karsiyaka has rested this weekend in the domestic league all their important players in order to be ready for this game. They played only with youngsters against Fenerbahce losing with a huge margin because their focus is now to reach the next stage of the Basketball Champions League. I don’t remember any other club that rested all their first squad players before a crucial game in a European campaign. This means that the encounter is very very important for Pinar.
- Both teams are brave, but I truly think that only Pinar has a true chance to win the title. They have more experienced players like Amath M’Baye, Tony Taylor (that already won the Basketball Champions League as teammates with Virtus Bologna), DJ Kennedy, Raymar Morgan and so on.
- Karsiyaka rotation is larger than Brindisi’s one, including many quality Turkish players like Semih Erden, Metecan Birsen, Onuralp Bitim, Yunus Sonsirna and Mahir Agva.
- Another advantage is that Pinar Karsiyaka has kept 80% of last year roster and their chemistry is deep, while Brindisi has changed almost the entire roster in the summer.
Image: Basketball Champions League
Gratian Cormos is a life coach, book writer and mentor living in the city of Barcelona, Spain.
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