Valencia Basket Club overcame all obstacles and do-or-die situations to storm into the Eurocup Finals, a stage it is very familiar with as a two-time champion of the competition. The club has reached an all-time record fourth Eurocup finals and wants to become the first team to lift the trophy three times after its previous wins in 2003 and 2011. Valencia has battled injuries all season - only five players appeared in all 22 Eurocup games - and struggled early, winning just four of its first eight games. That set up a first do-or-die game against Asvel Villeurbanne Lyon, which Valencia resolved with no-doubt-about-it 97-70 home win to reach the Last 32. After road losses against Unics Kazan and Stelmet Zielona Gora in that next round, Valencia had to play another decisive game, on the road in Ostend, Belgium. Once again, Valencia lived up to expectations with a resounding 64-84 road win against Telenet Ostend that opened the door to the eighthfinals. Despite the disadvantage of playing each second game on the road, Valencia has used rock-solid, first-game home wins to advance through three elimination series. To open the eighthfinals, it had to face Khimki Moscow Region, which arrived to Valencia with a Eurocup-record 15-game winning streak. Valencia sent a message that echoed all around the competition with a 75-59 home win. Khimki rallied in Game 2 and had a small lead in the series but a three-pointer by Oliver Lafayette and a go-ahead jumper by Pau Ribas allowed Valencia to win it with an aggregate score of 156-157. Against Alba Berlin in the quarterfinals, Valencia amassed a 51-22 lead already at halftime of Game 1 at Fuente de San Luis - enough to control the series for good. Once in the semifinals against Nizhny Novgorod, Valencia overcame an early deficit in Game 1 to take an 84-75 win. It then swept the series with a 53-79 road victory in Nizhny Novgorod. Step by step in what started as a difficult season, Valencia has proven that it has the depth, experience, talent and winning mentality to continue making history in the Eurocup.
Valencia Basket facts:
Valencia could be the first team in Eurocup history to win four consecutive two-way series without the home court advantage.
Justin Doellman had a career-high 33 points in Game 1 of the quarterfinals against Alba Berlin, earning weekly MVP honors.
Bojan Dubljevic earned Semifinals game 1 weekly MVP honors with 24 points and a career-best 12 rebounds against Nizhny Novgorod.
Valencia lost against Unics twice in the Last 32. For the first time, two teams that played each other earlier in the Eurocup season meet again in the finals.
Pau Ribas's jumper with 9.2 seconds left allowed Valencia to go past the eighthfinals, beating Khimki Moscow Region by one point.
Valencia leads the 2013-14 Eurocup in points scored (1,854), steals (188) and perfomance index ranking (2,144).
No player accumulated more steals this Eurocup season than Doellman (39).
Valencia ranks second in the competition this season in three-point (43.5%) and free throw (83.9%) percentages.
Oliver Lafayette is the best free throw shooter in this Eurocup season (32-of-33, 96.97%).
Valencia is 9-2 at home this season. In those nine victories, its average winning margin is 18 points (90.8 points scored vs. 72.8 allowed per win).
Valencia has four Eurocup champions on its roster: Rafa Martinez and Serhiy Lishchuk won with Valencia in 2010, Pau Ribas with Joventut in 2008 and Pablo Aguilar with Real Madrid in 2007.