After a bit of a tough stretch in the Top 16 phase and consecutive losses to Laboral Kutxa and Brose Baskets, it seems that Barcelona has finally found its rhythm on the court. The Catalonians have won four out of their last five Euroleague game and they will try to continue this positive trend, as they visit Laboral this Wednesday.
Barcelona are currently in a pretty tough situation in their group even though at the moment they are sitting on third place in the standings. If the Catalonians don’t manage to win their visit at the Fernando Bueso Arena, they could easily find themselves out of the top four, given that Real Madrid, Khimki or Olympiacos are victorious in their respective games. Xavier Pascual will need every bit of concentration from his men in their upcoming derby against Laboral Kutxa, as the club from the city of Vitoria-Gasteiz has already won against them in Barcelona in the Euroleague and in the Fernando Bueso Arena at the beginning of the Liga ACB. Moreover, the Catalonians will have to find a way to stop Ioannis Bourousis, as the center from Greece has been a double-double machine in the Top 16 phase, averaging 14.2 points and 9.5 rebounds per game.
For Laboral Kutxa, the game against Barcelona will be an attempt to retain their second position in Group F or even tie CSK Moscow for the top spot, if the Russian squad fails to defeat Brose Baskets on Thursday. Nevertheless, Velimir Perasovi?’s men haven’t been in top form lately, as they have lost three straight matches overall – two in the Liga ACB and one in the Euroleague. However, Kutxa Laboral are without a doubt considered favorites to win the derby against Barcelona, as they have already done it twice since the beginning of the current season. Moreover, in the previous game between Laboral and Barcelona, the Basques completely neutralized the two leading scorers of the Catalonians, holding Justin Doellman and Tomas Satoransky to just five and eight points respectfully.
In conclusion, it’s hard to say that Barcelona are not capable to win, but it’s more likely that we will see a hard-fought, low-scoring victory by Laboral than anything else.
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