Tomorrow, the Fiba Europe Cup will reach the last round of the second group stage. A couple of teams can punch their tickets for the playoffs. Between them, U-Banca Transilvania and Ironi Nes-Ziona, facing each other in a tremendous do-or-die. Their group is very tied with all the teams having the possibility to advance. I trust the Romanian team to win the game and qualify from the group because:
- the Romanian team has just added a new player L. J. Peak, who is coming from Varese and will provide a much better rotation. He is a skilled guy who will help his squad a lot on both sides of the court. It seems that the main problem of U-Banca Transilvania this season is solved because they till now they relied almost only on 7-8 players.
- Ironi Nes-Ziona lost all the away games in this group and is mostly a home-team. U-Banca Transilvania is the only team that won in Israel, since the beginning of the Fiba Europe Cup and I think this is an important advantage and is saying a lot about the value of both teams.
- U-Banca Transilvania is an amazing force at home, beating all the teams in previous encounters so far this season. They have a better quality rotation than the Israeli team, with Darko Planinic and Patrick Richard – some of the most impressive players of the entire competition.
Of course, theoretically, U-Banca Transilvania can qualify also with a loss on less than 3 points, but this is only talking. Who will try to escape with a narrow loss when this game is the most important of the Fiba Europe Cup season for them? The Romanian team has all the advantages, including the most important (the home court) to secure their presence in the European playoffs.
Photo: Fiba Europe Cup