Last 16 groups breakdown, Group J

Dec 17, 2012 by Eurocupbasketball.com Print
Bilbao Basket
Valencia Basket Club
CEZ Nymburk
VEF Riga
Bilbao Basket
won Group B with a 6-0 record. Is one of the three undefeated teams left.
THE STAR
Kostas Vasiliadis - Gescrap Bilbao Basket - EC12 (photo Bilbao Basket)
KOSTAS VASILIADIS
Once a top European prospect, Vasiliadis has found the right place to fulfil its great talent, feeling really comfortable in Bilbao. Vasiliadis leads Bilbao Basket in scoring (17.3 ppg.) and performance index ranking (19.8 per game) and ranks second in assists (2.8 apg.) and steals (1.8 spg.), proving he is much more than a great shooter. His buzzer-beating basket against Buducnost to force overtime has been one of the competition's highlights this season.
KEEP AN EYE ON...
Lamont Hamilton - Gescrap Bilbao Basket - EC12 (photo Bilbao Basket)
LAMONT HAMILTON
A talented big man that has flown under the radar for years is showcasing his skills and strength in the 2012-13 Eurocup. Hamilton arrived to Bilbao after three seasons in France and two in the Spanish second division. He has beaten all expectations, averaging 14.2 points, 5.5 rebounds and 0.8 blocks until now. A solid reference in the paint, Hamilton has been a pleasant surprised for all Bilbao fans.
DID YOU KNOW?
Milovan Rakovic - Bilbao Basket - EC12 (photo Bilbao Basket)
Bilbao has reached the semifinals in its two previous appearances in the competition. Bilbao reached the 2008-09 Eurocup Final Eight, beat Zadar in the quarterfinals but stepped down against Khimki, 79-73. Bilbao made it to the 2009-10 Finals but Alba Berlin stood on its way to the title game. Bilbao has a perfect 18-0 record in three Eurocup regular seasons but its record goes down to a still very good 12-7 after that phase.
Valencia Basket
won Group D with a 5-1 record. Is undefeated at home.
THE STAR
Bojan Dubljevic - Valencia Basket - EC12 (photo Miguel Ángel Polo - Valencia Basket)
BOJAN DUBLJEVIC
An All-Eurocup second team selection last season, Dubljevic moved to Valencia last summer and has stepped up big in the biggest challenge of his short, promising career. Despite stepping on court 20 minutes per game, Dubljevic has averaged 14.2 points on 89.7% free throw accuracy and 3.5 rebounds for a performance index average of 13.2. At age 21, he ranks third in points-per-40 minutes at 28.1, only trailing teammate Justin Doellman (32) and Nikos Pappas (28.8).
KEEP AN EYE ON...
Pau Ribas - Valencia Basket (photo Valencia Basket) - EC12_41313
PAU RIBAS
A former Eurocup winner had not returned to the competition since lifting the trophy in 2008, Ribas is a glue guy that can help Valencia in many ways. Ribas is a great defensive stopper at all perimeter positions, has contributed at both ends (9.8 ppg., 3.4 rpg., 3 apg., 88.9% FT) and gives coach Velimir Perasovic a lot of alternatives. Needless to say that his short, fruitful experience in the Eurocup - 21 wins in 22 games! - is a big plus.
DID YOU KNOW?
Thomas Kelati - Valencia Basket - EC12 (photo Valencia Basket)
Valencia has won the Eurocup twice and reached the final last season. Only Lietuvos Rytas - two titles in 2005 and 2009, a final in 2007 - matched its great results. Valencia was the original Eurocup champion in 2003 and managed to lift the trophy again in 2010. Its success is based on its outstanding home record. Currently in its seventh Eurocup season, Valencia won 45 of its 47 home games, tied once and only lost against Hapoel Migdal in 2009-10.
CEZ Nymburk
was second in Group A with a 3-3 record. Is on its sixth straight Eurocup season.
THE STAR
Petr Benda - CEZ Nymburk - EC12
PETR BENDA
Always steady, rock-solid and ready, Petr Benda is a tough mismatch for all opponents. He leads Nymburk in scoring (14.8 ppg.), steals (1.4 spg.) and performance index ranking (14.8). Benda leads all Last 16 players in two-pointers made (7.2 per game, 61% 2FG) and has room for improvement. An 80.9% free throw shooter last season - and 90% in the 2010-11 Eurocup -, Benda has only been to the foul line 5 times in 145 minutes, hitting only 2 attempts.
KEEP AN EYE ON...
Miljan Pavkovic - CEZ Nymburk - EC12
MILJAN PAVKOVIC
Pavkovic has been the perfect sixth man until now, offering efficiency and clutch off the bench. He hasn't started any game, but that doesn't stop Pavkovic from leading Nymburk in assists (5 apg.), help on the boards (3.3 rpg.) and score with great effectiveness (43.5% 3FG, 92.3% FT). Pavkovic already played the Eurocup semifinals with Hemofarm Stada in 2008-09 - and knows what it takes to play the underdog role close to perfection.
DID YOU KNOW?
Players CEZ Nymburk celebrates in Desio - Qualifying Round 2012
Nymburk already faced Valencia and VEF Riga in the Last 16 last season. Nymburk opened the Last 16 with a win in Riga, lost twice against Valencia and then against VEF in the Czech Republic, but managed to beat BCM Gravelines to reach the Quarterfinals. It was its second Quarterfinals apperance. In its first one in 2009-10, Nymburk lost against its other 2012-13 Last 16 opponent, Bilbao Basket, on points differential.
VEF Riga
was second in Group C with a 3-3 record. Is on a two-game winning streak.
THE STAR
Kristaps Janicenoks - VEF Riga - EC12 (photo Mikus Klavins, VEF Riga)
KRISTAPS JANICENOKS
A well-rounded shooter has managed to stay put in his hometown, as this is his third consecutive season with VEF Riga. Janicenoks has been a steady scoring ace for VEF, averaging 14.7 points on 46.9% three-point shots, as well as 2.8 assists per game, showing that he is also sharing the ball. Janicenoks has boosted his scoring average to 17.3 points and 3.7 assists in VEF's three wins, showing how important he is to his team.
KEEP AN EYE ON...
Earl Rowland - VEF Riga (photo VEF Riga - Mikus Klavins)
E.J. ROWLAND
Only him and Janicenoks have started all 6 games. Rowland leads VEF in assists (3.8 apg.), fouls drawn (4.7 per game) is his one of its best scorers (11.8 ppg.) and rebounders (3.8 rpg.). His performance index ranking average (14.7) is only beaten by Dairis Bertans (15.5). Rowland played the 2007-08 ULEB Cup with Artland Dragons and after stops in Bonn, Cremona and Malaga, has returned to the competition with VEF Riga.
DID YOU KNOW?
VEF Riga players - EC12
VEF has been unstoppable outside Riga, winning 4 of its last 5 road games in the competition. VEF managed to defeat BCM Gravelines and CEZ Nymburk in last season's Last 16, topped Artland Dragons in Quakenbrueck early this season and edged Le Mans Sarthe Basket in a do-or-die game to stay alive in the competition. Its strong road performance is not matched at home, as VEF has only won 2 of its last 7 Eurocup games at Riga Arena.