Devotion is back as the Euroleague 2013 kicks-off with Barcelona hosting Partizan and CSKA Moscow visiting Nanterre.
FC Barcelona vs. Partizan
Barcelona will be missing the services of Brad Oleson, while "La Bamba" Juan Carlos Navarro has just joined the team about a week ago.
New signing Kostas Papanikolaou, Jacob Pullen and Alex Abrines are expected to rotate at the wings.
While Partizan has not won a game away from home since 1987, Barcelona coach Xavier Pascual knows that they are capable of doing damage.
"We know Partizan is a young team, talented, and with the capacity to surprise anyone. They are competitive and have strong character. They are a solid team. But we want to get as far as possible in this Euroleague. This is the start and we are still a little green," Pascual told euroleague.net.
"We are not solid throughout 40 minutes and we still have a lot of things to improve. There are many teams his year with great rosters. The four teams in the last Final Four are there, plus Panathinaikos, Fenerbahce or Galatasary, among others. This competition is long and there are many teams with options."
Meanwhile, David Bertans will not be able to suit up for Partizan and Bodgan Bogdanovic and Tarence Kinsey are expected to take the scoring cudgels upon them.
Dusko Vujosevic knows that his team has nothing to lose ahead of their clash against a powerhouse in Barca and intends to use such to his team's advantage.
"At this moment we are still having some injury problems. Of course it will be a tough game against Barcelona plus we are still lacking rhythm of competition since the season has just started," said Vujosevic.
"We are travelling to Barcelona without the pressure of a mandatory win, which I hope will let us play more focused. There's no need to waste words on the quality of this Euroleague. Our group is brutal. All teams have possibilities of winning any game, but I think CSKA; Barcelona and Fenerbahce have real options at this point to make the Final Four."
Nanterre vs. CSKA Moscow
Euroleague debutant Nanterre will be facing giants CSKA Moscow.
Only Ali Traore and Jekel Foster have had previous Euroleague experience for Nanterre, but Pascal Donnadieu's team will capitalise on playing without pressure.
"We will try to have maximum fun playing this game, but we don't want to regret anything at the end," said Nanterre player Mam Jaiteh.
CSKA Moscow are one of the favourites to advance from their group and will be looking to build on momentum come day 1, but coach Ettore Messina will not take the opposition lightly.
"It's a start of a new season and everyone is excited to play in the Game 1. Nanterre is coming to the Euroleague after winning the French championship last season with anxiety and enthusiasm," said Messina.
"They are good, very athletic, well-coached team. We should not take anything for granted, we should come well-prepared. Defense and ball movement will be the key factors to win there."
Andrew Vorontsevich is sidelined, while Sasha Kaun and Nenad Krstic will impose their will in the middle.
Skipper Victor Khryapa will play his usual all-around game and provide the needed leadership as well as stability of his superstar laden team.
Schedule and Free Live Online Streaming (Link will be provided an hour before tip-off):
All games will be played on Oct 18, 2013, 4:30 am (AEST)
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