The European Cup champion, Urbani Ness Ziona, will tonight (20:00, live on 5 SPORT) face an important test when she plays against Porto for a ticket to the home stage of the factory she won last year. After defeating Parnu in the semi-finals of the tournament qualifiers, she will face the Portuguese runner-up, in what is expected to be a tough battle.
A victory for the group in orange will give them a ticket to the eighth house, which includes the Romanian Urda, the Hungarian Solonoki Olai and the Polish Legia Warsaw. It should be noted that even if you lose tonight, Ness Ziona may sneak into homes. The explanation for this is that four finals are being held today for the next round, but there are six tickets left. That means the two losers with the best basket ratio from the semifinals and finals will also play in the European Cup this year.
The team’s coach, Lior Lubin, commented on the opponent: “Porto is a very athletic, physical and trained team. We will have to focus on the pace of the game, defensive rebounding, and dealing with a dominant and creative coordinator. If we do this well we can get closer to our goal.” Ness Ziona captain Tal Dan also shared his feelings before tonight’s game: “We understand the importance of the game for the rest of our way in the European factory and for the rest of the season. We will have to be aggressive and control the pace of the game, believe in ourselves and want to come home with a victory.”
Porto will not make life easy for the current champion of the factory, coming after a 58:70 victory over the Cypriot Carbanos. The Portuguese team showed high defensive ability throughout all stages of the game, with their opponent not scoring over 16 points in any of the quarters of the game. The team’s coach, Moncho López, previously won the silver medal at Eurobasket, when he coached the Spanish national team.
On the offensive side, American quarterback Max Landis led the blue-and-white scoring list with 17 points, including four threes. Along with him in double digits also scored Charlon Klopp, who finished with 10 points and 5 assists. Two other notable players are forward Rashard Odomes and center Serin Barrow, who finished with 9 points each and dominated under the baskets.
Believes in the group. Tal Dan (Alan Shiver)