The 2018 7DAYS EuroCup Semifinals promises to be of the highest quality with four superb teams reaching this stage – three of which are here for the first time. The four teams boast a combined 60-14 record this season and among them are the first-, second- and third-best teams in defense.
Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar vs. Grissin Bon Reggio Emilia
Still undefeated this season, Lokomotiv swept Herbalife Gran Canaria in the quarterfinals, while Reggio Emilia bested Zenit St. Petersburg after an exciting three-game series. This series features two of the best three defenses in the EuroCup this season (the other, Darussafaka Dogus Istanbul, plays in the other semifinal). Lokomotiv has allowed opponents just 68.8 points per game, while Reggio Emilia has given up just 75.0. The Lokomotiv defense will be charged with stopping the EuroCup's most-effective player this season: Amedeo Della Valle leads the competition with 17.8 points per game and has the highest index rating at 20.8. Lokomotiv has displayed a more-dangerous offense and ranks third in performance index rating (96.1). Even though Lokomotiv has gone through some changes since losing top scorer Ryan Broekhoff to injury, Dmitry Kulagin stepped into his shoes with a monster quarterfinals series. The big frontcourt matchup will pit Reggio Emilia center Jalen Reynolds, whose 7.5 rebounds per game are second in the EuroCup, against Lokomotiv's Frank Elegar.
Darussafaka Dogus Istanbul vs. FC Bayern Munich
While Darussafaka qualified for the semifinals with a two-game sweep of Buducnost VOLI Podgorica, Bayern needed the maximum three to get past former champ UNICS Kazan. This series features two dominant teams with nearly identical records (Darussafaka is 15-3, Bayern is 16-3) that have woven their success in different ways. Bayern has the best performance index rating as a team (103.2) and it’s 87.2 points per game is second in the league. Darussafaka has allowed an index rating of just 67.9 as well as 70.3 points per game, which are both second lowest in the EuroCup. Both teams excel on the glass, but in different ways; Darussafaka is second in the EuroCup with 37.6 rebounds per game, while Bayern has allowed the fewest rebounds (29.7 rpg.). Bayern's team passing sees it atop the charts in assists (20.6 apg.), while Darussafaka's isolation scoring has it 20th with 16.0 assists per game. So far this season, it’s been different styles for these teams, but the same great results. Which style will propel its team to the EuroCup Finals?