The AEK of Athensa classic European basketball team, will be Unicaja’s first rival this Wednesday in the second phase of the Basketball Champions League. The Greeks have slipped into this Round of 16 after eliminating Turkish Tofas Bursa in the play-in junction by a resounding 2-0. In the first phase, the Hellenes were second in Group B, with a 3-3 record, only behind German Telekom Bastet and ahead of Turkish Pinar Karsiyaka and Hungarian Vulcano Szombathely.
The team trained by Ilias Katzouris He arrives in Malaga with a squad that includes his North American players, the Panamanian Mitchell and the Latvian Strelnieks. He mixes his seniority and youth in the “12” in a fairly balanced squad between the inside and outside games.
AEK is also fifth in its League, like Unicaja. Those of Athens have a balance of 8-5 after 13 days. This past weekend they prevailed at home 61-69 on the court of Apollon Patras.
These are and how their most important players play:
Dimitris Flionis Base
The starting point guard of AEK. A player with a defensive role and team organizer. Very left-handed, he always seeks to finish plays with his left hand. More of a penetrator on his left side than a shooter. Slow when arming the arm to throw. His mechanics aren’t good, but he doesn’t have bad percentages.
Vasilis Xanthopoulos Base
Veteran player. With much experience. He is a base manager. He likes to drive to draw in the defense and double the ball to his teammates on the perimeter. His outside shots are basically from the last second of possession, when he has no choice but to shoot.
Janis Strelnieks Escort
One of his fundamental team players. Very high quality. With experience in Euroleague. A great scorer. A great 3-point shooter in all possible registers. Also game generator. He doesn’t have as many legs as before, but he does pierce damage.
Tim Frazier Shooting Guard
versatile player. His coach has sometimes put him at point guard, but he is primarily a strong shooting guard, although he can also play small forward. He does everything. He shoots 3, but he is not a super triple shooter, he penetrates very well and is very aggressive with his right hand. He runs the fast break very well. Very aggressive. He is another important player for them.
Konstantinos Papadakis Forward
He doesn’t play much. He is a specialist. What he does best is his 3-point shot. He doesn’t have a very leading role in the rotation, but he does have a few minutes.
Kenny Williams Forward
Fundamental player for AEK. He is a dead foot shooter. He is a specialist in punishing the help that his defender makes to try to stop another teammate. Very accurate from the corners. Together with Strelnieks, the best player on the team coming out of the blocks to shoot to the basket. There are many attack systems for him. He occasionally penetrates, but his first idea is always to shoot.
Vlado Jankovic Forward
Newcomer to the team. He has only played one game with them. Also a veteran player, with a lot of experience. In a “3”, but that he can play power forward. He goes well to the low post and is a good help on the rebound. Very good pin. He has a good 3-point shot, especially if he has time to shoot. He went through the Endesa League.
Isaiah Milles Power Forward
It is his starting “4”. He has a great body, but mostly all he does is shoot off. He is always open waiting for the ball to look for the shot. With still feet, dangerous. He opens the field a lot. He can occasionally go to finish inside, but there he loses the effectiveness that he does have shooting from the outside, where he has very good percentages. He plays a lot of minutes. He was playing so far only in the BCL, but the last match he also played in the Greek League.
Cameron McGriff Forward-Power
Very physical. He can play in the two interior positions. He is a “small” player, but he takes advantage of his physique to rebound and run the field. He is good at blocking and continuation and in the game without the ball. He can very occasionally shoot 3’s, but he’s not very consistent. He gives a lot of energy running and jumping.
Akil Mitchell Center
Very important player in this team. He plays many minutes. Very good offensive rebounder, interior player, although occasionally he can make a shot from 6.75. He is not very big, just over 2 meters, but with a lot of energy and activity under the basket. He passes very well from the low post. He takes advantage of his speed against rivals who in that position are usually slower than him. Great physique.
Alexander Madsen Center
Finnish player. He is the backup center. On occasion they have used him as a power forward. A more technical player. To block and continue. Better 3-point shooter than Mitchell and McGriff, but less intense than them. Slower center, but with more talent.