Pau Ribas and Andrea De Nicolao clash once again in Round 4 as Umana Reyer Venice looks to end a losing streak against Joventut Badalona.
Reyer, De Nicolao search for first win over Ribas, Joventut
Tuesday night's high-profile Round 4 clash between Umana Reyer Venice (0-3) and Joventut Badalona (2-1) in Group A of the 2023-24 BKT EuroCup Regular Season will once again pit Andrea De Nicolao and Pau Ribas up against each other. For almost a decade, the two veteran guards who have been on the opposite sides on EuroCup floors.
De Nicolao enters this game with 103 appearances to his name, including 35 in a starting role, while Ribas has played 101 games in the EuroCup, with 34 coming as a starter. Among those fixtures, the two players have had four head-to-head games during their careers, all in the past three seasons.
Ribas's best game in his career
Interestingly, however, the very first time De Nicolao and Ribas were on opposite sides, it was in December 2013, when De Nicolao was playing for Cimberio Varese and Ribas was with Valencia Basket. De Nicolao did not enter the game, but watched on from the bench as Ribas had the best game of his EuroCup career. Ribas scored 23 points on 5-for-7 three-point shooting with 5 rebounds and 3 assists for a 30 PIR. Those marks for points, triples made and PIR still stand as his career highs.
De Nicolao, Ribas both on the floor
The two players did not cross paths again until 2020, when Joventut beat Reyer in a pair of regular-season games. In the first of those two games, each player scored 13 points as Joventut won 92-78, then later in the season Ribas had 11 points and De Nicolao scored just 2 as Joventut again won by 14 points, this time 75-89.
De Nicolao and Ribas played against one another once again last season, and again it was Joventut that swept the regular-season series.
Ribas had 7 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals as Joventut edged Reyer on its home floor, 90-87, on a buzzer-beating triple. De Nicolao was quite involved in his 10 minutes off the bench, scoring 3 points on 1-for-5 three-point shooting, which was a game-tying triple at 87-87 with 6 seconds remaining, and 2 steals.
Later last season, when Joventut held off Reyer 74-80 in Venice, Ribas again replicated his 7 points and also dished 3 assists, while De Nicolao had 9 points, netting 2-of-3 triples, with 3 rebounds, 1 steal and 1 assist in 18 minutes on the floor.
How they are playing this season
Heading into Round 4 this season, Ribas is averaging 11.0 points, shooting 41.7% from behind the arc, along with 4.7 assists and 2.0 rebounds
Interestingly, De Nicolao is yet to score a single point so far in the 2023-24 campaign. He missed Reyer's season opener, then attempted only 3 shots in a total of 40 minutes and 28 seconds on the floor across the last two rounds.
De Nicolao has never won with Ribas on the other side of the floor, and Reyer is winless in four games against Joventut. De Nicolao and his team wants to end that run, which would give Reyer its first win of the current campaign. For that to happen, Reyer will need much more contribution from its veteran guard on Tuesday night.