Galatasaray Liv Hospital face their first true test of the EuroLeague Top 16 today when they take on Real Madrid in the Spanish capital.
The Istanbul side picked up a win in the first round of the Top 16 last week, beating Zalgris Kaunas from Lithuania, as they look to make their mark on Europe's biggest basketball tournament. The side successfully integrated new signing Justin Carter in the opening game, which was a tight encounter against one of the competition's most compact teams. While Kaunas provided a stern test, Real Madrid will be quite another matter.
Madrid come into the tie boasting a four-game winning streak while Galatasaray own a modest streak of their own, having won their last two encounters. But even the EuroLeague's official website, an impartial observer, don't fancy Galatasaray's chances. "Coach Pablo Laso's star-studded squad boasts great talent at every position. Galatasaray cannot match that in depth, but its players are hungry to prove themselves too," reported the site.
To add further difficulty to the matchup, Gala have failed to win their last eight EuroLeague away trips. Star point guard Sinan Guler is hoping that new signing Justin Carter can give the side a necessary boost. "Justin Carter is a great addition and can do a lot of things on both sides of the court. He can add energy to our defense and create a lot of offense," said the Turkey international.