Valencia Basket takes on Virtus Segafredo Bologna at La Fonteta on Wednesday for a spot in the championship game. It is time to see two of the best big men in the competition face off: Jasiel Rivero of Valencia and Mam Jaiteh of Virtus.
Major Matchup: Valencia's Rivero vs. Virtus's Jaiteh
Rivero is posting impressive numbers in his first season in the competition, averaging 12.3 points, 4.5 rebounds and a PIR of 15.0 in less than 20 minutes per night. He ranks second in two-point shooting percentage (72.2%), only trailing his Valencia teammate Jaime Pradilla (80.7%). Rivero is in good shape, too, getting 21 points in each of Valencia's playoff games against Hamburg Towers and Boulogne Metropolitans 92, combining for 15-of-16 two-point shooting (93.8%). Valencia needs his energy and power down low in this critical matchup.
Jaiteh comes off a career-best performance with 27 points on 12-of-16 two-point shooting, 11 rebounds and a PIR of 38 in his team's quarterfinals win against ratiopharm Ulm. Jaiteh has averaged 13.2 points until now, ranking fifth in the competition in PIR (18.6), fourth in rebounds (7.6 rpg.) and fifth in two-point shooting percentage (71.0%). Jaiteh is first in PIR per 40 minutes (33.6), and Rivero ranks third (30.2). When Valencia beat Virtus twice in the regular season, Rivero averaged 9.0 points and 8.0 rebounds and Jaiteh had 4.0 points and 6.5 rebounds.