01 September, 2016
30 April, 2017
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Perfect seven is the lucky number for AEK and Besiktas in Game of the Week

ATHENS (Basketball Champions League) - A seven-game winning streak to start the season as well as claiming sole leadership of Group E are the two main prizes at stake when AEK Athens host Besiktas Sompo Japan Istanbul on Tuesday evening in the Games of the Week.

"Besiktas is a good team, on paper it is perhaps the best team we are going to face, but we are not concerned by that." - Jure Zdovc

Both the Greek and the Turkish team are currently standing at 4-0 in their respective domestic league while of course they are tied at 2-0 in Regular Season Group E. Make no mistake, although it is still early days in the season these six-game winning runs are important to both clubs as an early declaration of intentions.

Both clubs are firm candidates to go very far in every competition they are taking part this year and neither has hidden their goal in the Basketball Champions League is to reach the Final Four.

Emerging victorious from the Tuesday clash will make for a resounding statement that will be held loud and clear all over Europe, however AEK head coach Jure Zdovc has downplayed the special importance of the clash.

"Besiktas is a good team, on paper it is perhaps the best team we are going to face, but we are not concerned by that," Zdovc said. "We respect every opponent the same, we try to win every game the same and that’s also what we are going to try to do against Besiktas, in front of our fans."

AEK enter Gameday 3 as the third-best defensive team among the 40 participants of the Basketball Champions League (behind Le Mans and AS Monaco), allowing only 53.5 points on average. Besiktas’s defence gives up a considerably higher 68 points on average, but the Turkish team has the advantage in turning aggressive defence into offence as they score 5.5 points more than AEK off turnovers and get 16 points per game in transition, compared to the Athenian side’s 11.

This is why the battle between the two backcourts will be of extreme importance on Wednesday, as they will need to dictate the pace and make sure the tempo their team imposes its tempo.

AEK will need a big game from the duo of Roko Leni Ukic and Michael Dixon, who have combined so far for 22 points, 8.5 assists and 2.5 steals per contest, despite the fact they are averaging only 23.5 and 23 minutes per game, respectively. Besiktas from their side will need a similarly solid display by  DJ Strawberry and Michael Thompson, who have combined for 22.5 points, 6.5 rebounds and six assists per game so far.