ALBA will advance to the Top 16 if it wins, but Coach Aito's side is in a tough spot with its starting backcourt of Peyton Siva and Martin Hermannsson sidelined. ALBA has won four straight games and will play three of its last four regular season contests at home, where it has not lost this season. Cedevita has gone through some lineup changes recently and comes off a convincing rout of Limoges to improve to 3-3.
Earlier this season
Cedevita edged ALBA 75-73 for the latter's lone loss in the EuroCup this season when they met in Round 2. Vitor Benite scored 17 points and Justin Cobbs posted a double-double to lead Cedevita to victory. Rokas Giedraitis posted 14 points, 8 rebounds and 5 steals for ALBA in defeat.
In the games he has started, Ivan Ramljak has averaged 10.3 points, 7.7 rebounds and 2 steals for Cedevita and he will be on call against ALBA power forward Luka Sikma (9.3 ppg., 7 rpg., 1.8 spg.), who was the MVP of the round just two weeks ago. Both are versatile players who can help out wherever needed and excel on both sides of the ball. The duel between them should be fascinating.
Keys to victory: ALBA
ALBA will have a new look in the backcourt due to injuries. Stefan Peno remains the starter at point guard and Kenneth Ogbe will see a big uptick in minutes at shooting guard. How The veterans in the frontcourt must help with the playmaking and look for Ogbe's shot when open from downtown to help the younger guards fill in for the regular starters. German junior national team guard Bennet Hundt may also make his debut at point guard.
Keys to victory: Cedevita
Cedevita enjoyed a spectacular debut from Jacob Pullen last week and will hope that former EuroCup MVP Marko Banic and guard Jakov Mustapic will fit in seamlessly, too. Cedevita played at times with three guards and multiple playmakers last week and with ALBA shorthanded at guard, relying on its depth there could give the visitors a real boost.