Week 2 Wednesday fixtures preview
MIES (Switzerland) - Every single group of the 2020-21 Basketball Champions League Regular Season will have tipped off by close of play Wednesday, which includes in its three-game slate the Group H season opener.
Turkish newcomers Darüssafaka Tekfen play host to BCL old hands Filou Oostende in that clash, while another veteran of the competition, SIG Strasbourg, travel to Riga to face VEF in Group E.
Meanwhile in Group E, storied French club Limoges debut in the competition against Igokea, who earned a berth in the Regular Season after triumphing in September's qualification rounds.
Let's have a closer look at Wednesday's three-game slate:
VEF Riga vs. SIG Strasbourg -- Group E, 18:00 CET
Jau rīt pret “SIG Strasbourg” uzsāksim savu otro Basketbola Čempionu līgas sezonu! ⚫️⚪️🏀— VEF Rīga (@vefriga) October 27, 2020
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- In their most recent outing on Saturday, VEF steamrolled Latvijas Universitate 95-54 as 11 different players on the Riga team wrote their name on the scoreboard, led by Kyle Allman's 15 points.
- Also on Saturday, Strasburg fell 94-83 to Le Portel at home in French Jeep Elite league action, despite a monster double-double showing of 22 points and 15 rebounds by Yannis Morin.
- VEF have lost their last 13 games in the BCL and will attempt to avoid becoming the first team to lose 14 consecutive games in the competition (Polish club Rosa Radom also has 13 consecutive defeats). The Riga side became in 2019-20 the third team to finish a BCL Regular Season with only one win, after Bakken Bears in 2016-17 and Petrol Olimpija in 2018-19.
- Strasbourg will play in the BCL for a fifth straight season, having reached the Play-Offs in two of their previous four campaigns. The French team had never lost more than six Regular Season games in the same campaign up until last year, when they finished on a 4-10 record.
- Strasbourg have 32 wins in the BCL, and if they win on Wednesday they will draw level with AS Monaco as the French teams with the most wins in the competition.
- VEF's Aigars Skele is averaging 11.6 points per game as a starter (17 appearances) in the BCL and 7.7 points off the bench (11 appearances). The Latvian swingman will be playing for his second team in the BCL, after suiting up for Ventspils in 2016-17 and in 2017-18.
- Strasbourg's Jaromir Bohacik has played 42 games and scored 418 points in the BCL, all with his previous club, ERA Nymburk. All other players on the current Strasbourg roster have a combined 37 BCL games and 234 points between them.
- The last time the Czech international played against VEF (while he was still on Nymburk) in January 2020, he dished out a BCL career-high 8 assists.
Limoges CSP vs. Igokea -- Group G, 18:00 CET
- Limoges are coming off an 82-76 defeat at Levallois on Monday in the French Jeep Elite league, with DeMarcus Nelson scoring a team-high 18 points in a losing effort.
- Igokea were last in action on October 21st and clinched a 70-69 road at Krka Novo Mesto, behind 19 points from Nikola Jovanovic, improving to 3-1 in the ABA Adriatic League standings.
- Limoges are making their BCL debut on Wednesday, becoming the tenth French team to take part in the competition. No other country has had more teams in the BCL than France.
- Igokea meanwhile will become on Wednesday the first team from Bosnia and Herzegovina to compete in the BCL Regular Season.
- Only one French team among the nine that preceded Limoges in the BCL, Pau-Lacq- Orthez, lost their debut home game in the competition.
- Hugo Invernizzi of Limoges, who has previously played in the BCL with Nanterre, scored in double digits in each of his first six games in the competition but then repeated that feat only in four of his subsequent 27 appearances in the league.
- Antabia Waller of Igokea, who previously played in the BCL with Mornar Bar, averaged 15.8 points per game in his first six appearances. He then dropped to 7.2 points per game in his subsequent 21 appearances in the league.
Darüssafaka Tekfen vs. Filou Oostende -- Group H, 18:00 CET
- Darüssafaka are coming off an 89-78 defeat to Pinar Karsiyaka on the road in Turkish BSL action, despite a solid display by shooting guard Doguş Özdemiroglu who had 18 points and 6 rebounds.
- Oostende meanwhile are yet to play in their domestic league, since the Belgian championship tips off on November 7th.
- Darüssafaka will become on Wednesday the third Turkish club to debut in the BCL this season and the ninth Turkish club overall to take part in the competition. Turkey is second only to France (which has 10 teams) in number of different teams that have participated the BCL.
- Oostende have played in every single of the previous four BCL seasons and the last one was their most successful so far, since they reached the Play-Offs for the first time.
- Erkan Veyseloglu of Darüssafaka has played 43 games in the BCL, all with Besiktas Sompo Sigorta, and he has actually faced Oostende on four occasions, winning all four games.
- New Oostende center Thomas Welsh posted a double-double in his first and only so far BCL game with his new team. The American big man had 13 points and 12 rebounds against Iberostar Tenerife when the two teams met in Game 3 of the 2019-20 season Round of 16, last September 2020. Shevon Thompson, who is now on Spanish side Fuenlabrada, is the only Oostende player to register multiple double-doubles in the BCL.
- Oostende head coach Dario Gjergja will draw level on Wednesday with former Strasbourg playcaller Vincent Collet as the only two people to have coached 60 games in the BCL: Gjergja has been at the helm of Oostende for all those 59 games and has a 28-31 record so far.