The meeting between Budivelnik and Patrioti Levice will take place on Wednesday, February 8, in Italy. The fight starts at 20.30 Kyiv time. The match will be shown live by the UNIAN TV channel.
After a difficult away victory over the Finnish “Karhu”, Valery Plekhanov’s wards were one step away from reaching the quarterfinals of the FIBA Europe Cup. The capital team had to do it on their own. A victory in today’s match would have brought Budivelnik to the 1/4 finals. However, Hapoel from Haifa made its step for the Ukrainian club, only in the opposite direction. The Israeli team could compete with the people of Kiev for reaching the top eight, but yesterday lost to the Finns on the road. After that, the “builders” ahead of schedule became participants in the playoffs of the fourth European Cup in terms of status.
The evening game in Veroli will have absolutely no tournament value. In quartet J, almost all the roles have already been scheduled and approved: the Finnish “Karhu” quite unexpectedly wins the group, and the Ukrainian “Budivelnik” advances to the quarterfinals from second place. Only “Patriot Levice” in case of today’s victory can move the Israeli “Hapoel” from the third position, but this will bring maximum moral satisfaction to the Slovaks.
From the side it may seem that the “builders” entered the quarterfinals on someone else’s back. But it’s not. At the moment, Valery Plekhanov’s wards have beaten each of their opponents once and did not let them break away in the standings. Of course, the victories of “Patriot Levice” and the Finnish “Karhu” over “Hapoel” in the last rounds helped the capital club pretty much, because in the sum of two matches the people of Kiev lost to basketball players from Haifa -8, but here the Israelis have only themselves to blame. Sharon Drucker’s men were on pole position for the playoffs but had a lousy run in 2023, losing four out of four games.
Now it would be nice for the people of Kiev to complete the Top-16 stage on a positive note in the game with Patriot Levice. The first match between today’s rivals took place less than a month ago. On January 11 in Slovakia, the opponents played a very even duel, and the scales in it could swing in any direction. As a result, the Ukrainian club turned out to be a little more successful, which scored the minimum away victory – 76:77. Canadian Johnny Berhanemeskel (26 points + 5 rebounds + 4 assists) became the most productive player in the Kyiv team, and their leader Miha Lapornik was traditionally noted in the roster of the current champion of Slovakia. The Slovenian has 24 points scored.
It will not be superfluous to note that all three recent successes in the Top-16 stage of the FIBA Europe Cup were completed by the “builders” in clutch time and with a small difference in the score. So, the Slovak “Levice”, as mentioned above, was defeated with a difference of one point, after which “Hapoel” from Haifa “Budivelnik” won at home with an advantage of two points – 81:79, and the Finnish “Karhu” was away for a week ago, our club was ahead by three points – 62:65.
By the way, the potential rivals of Valery Plekhanov’s men in the quarterfinals are already known. In it, “Budivelnik” can play either with the French “Cholet” or with the Portuguese “Porto”, and these teams in the face-to-face meeting of the sixth round will determine which of them will finish first in the neighboring group I, and who will be second. In my opinion, the option with the Pyrenean club would be more preferable.
However, this rivalry will be already in the March quarter-finals. In the meantime, it is necessary to congratulate Budivelnik on overcoming the second group stage in the FIBA Europe Cup. Of course, a very nervous and difficult game with Patrioti Levice was expected in the evening, in which Valery Plekhanov’s wards would only be satisfied with a victory. Suffice it to say that the Ukrainian club, in order to prepare for this match, sacrificed the game of the European Northern Basketball League (on Monday, the second team of the “builders” played in Poland). However, our opponent in absentia did not fulfill his minimum task, and the most titled basketball club in Ukraine goes further in the tournament, and today it will play for its fans without a burden of responsibility.
3. Hapoel Haifa
4. Patriots of the Left
“Budivelnik” (Ukraine) – “Patrioti Levice” (Slovakia)
Aroged forecast: victory of “Budivellnik”
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