Top 10 moments of EuroCup season
It was a 7DAYS EuroCup season that will long be remembered for its record-setting performances, dramatic come-from-behind wins, dominant squads and Cinderellas. Seemingly every week had an unforgettable highlight, if not several. Here are the top 10 moments from the 2017-18 EuroCup season as determined by EuroCupbasketball.com's staff writers.
Juskevicius catches fire
The first quarter of the Round 5 game between Lietkabelis Panevezys and Buducnost VOLI Podgorica was a sight to behold. Adas Juskevicius caught fire like no other player before in the competition when he hit 7 consecutive three-pointers in the first quarter. He hit his first when Lietkabelis was up 6-2, and his seventh to make it 27-5. Seven attempts and seven triples in a span of 4:04. Lietkabelis won the game 86-79 and Juskevicius finished with 9 three-pointers, at the time tying a EuroCup record that would be broken a few weeks later.
The night of John Roberson
The man who broke the three-point record was John Roberson of ASVEL Villeurbanne. In the final game of the regular season, Roberson netted a season-high 42 points and set a EuroCup record for the most three-point shots made in a single game with 11. It was an incredible triple-overtime showdown in which ASVEL beat Herbalife Gran Canaria on the road 128-129. The outcome of that game entirely shook up the standings in Group D and changed the outlook of all the Top 16 groups. ASVEL’s 129 points were also the most by a road team in competition history.
Big man keeps his cool
Round 4 of the Top 16 produced a double-overtime thriller that sent Buducnost VOLI Podgorica to the quarterfinals. Buducnost edged Dolomiti Energia Trento 105-106 thanks to Danilo Nikolic, who hit a pair of free throws with one-tenth of a second to go in the second overtime. Just moments earlier, it seemed as though Trento had won it when Shavon Shields scored a layup to give the hosts a 1-point edge with only 1.3 seconds to go. But Joao Gomes fouled Nikolic and the big man kept his nerve and coolly sunk both foul shots with 0.1 seconds on the clock. Buducnost advanced and Trento was eliminated.
Reggio Emilia celebrates
Grissin Bon Reggio Emilia advanced to the quarterfinals as the Group H winner with a 75-68 victory over ASVEL Villeurbanne in the final round of the Top 16. Amedeo Della Valle scored 19 to pace Reggio Emilia, which reached the quarterfinals for the first time since 2006. In a back-and-forth game, ASVEL led at halftime before Reggio Emilia started the second half on a 10-2 charge and went on to lead by as many as 9 in the fourth quarter. ASVEL rallied to within 2 in the final minute, but Julian Wright and Chris Wright teamed up on a key steal that led to a game-clinching layup by Pedro Llompart, prompting exuberant celebrations at PalaBigi.
In Game 3 of the quarterfinals, UNICS Kazan big man Stephane Lasme rejected a dunk attempt by Danilo Barthel of FC Bayern Munich midway through the first quarter for his 45th block of the season. That was one more than the three-year-old record of 44 that was set by current Real Madrid center Walter Tavares when he played for Herbalife Gran Canaria in the EuroCup. Lasme, 35 years old, went on to block Bayern players twice more on Wednesday to set the new bar at 47 for a single season.
In Game 1 of the best-of-three semifinals, Darussafaka stunned visiting FC Bayern Munich 76-74 on Stanton Kidd's catch-and-shoot three-pointer in the game's final second. Darussafaka found itself down by 23 points, 24-47, late in the first half, but rallied for a victory which, looking back, might have been the key win in its championship season.
Darussafaka Istanbul made it to the 7DAYS EuroCup Finals for the first time in club history by edging FC Bayern Munich 83-87 behind Scottie Wilbekin’s memorable shooting performance in Game 2 of the semis. He scored 41 points and hit 10 three-pointers, setting competition records for non-overtime games. His performance index rating of 44 was the third-best in semifinals history. "I thought that most of the shots were going to go in at a certain point, but I never knew that we were going to win the game. We were never in control of the game and it was really loud there, and they are a great team. I was optimistic, but I never knew that we were going to win", Wilbekin said in his post-season interview.
Loko’s perfect 20
By beating Grissin Bon Reggio Emilia 69-79 in Game 2 of the semifinals, Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar not only clinched a spot in the 7DAYS EuroCup Finals, but also became the first team in competition history to win the first 20 games of the season. Lokomotiv also tied the competition's longest winning streak at 20 games.
A steal and a three
In Game 1 of the finals, Darussafaka was down 5 late in the fourth quarter on the road against undefeated Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar. However, Howard Sant-Roos scored a layup, stole an inbound pass and fed EuroCup MVP Scottie Wilbekin for a three-pointer that tied it at 72-72 and forced overtime. "When we left the timeout, I told everybody: 'Once we get the steal, we need a three,'" Wilbekin later explained. "Howard got the steal, found me and I was able to get a good look! It was a great steal and a smart play." Darussafaka prevailed in the extra session and three days later completed a sweep to win its first EuroCup title.
The day the drought ended
Darussafaka Istanbul became the new 7DAYS EuroCup champion and earned a place in the 2018-19 Turkish Airlines EuroLeague by winning Game 2 of the finals 67-59 over visiting Lokomotiv at Volkswagen Arena. The victory gave the new champions a 2-0 sweep of the series and ended Darussafaka’s half-century drought without trophies. Darussafaka led for most of the night and when Lokomotiv got within 58-54 in the final quarter, EuroCup MVP Wilbekin stepped up with a huge triple with two minutes left that sealed the outcome and the title. Darussafaka became the second Turkish team to win the competition and Darussafaka boss David Blatt became the second head coach ever to win both the EuroLeague and EuroCup titles.