Eurocup Eighthfinals at a glance

Feb 12, 2016 by Print
Eurocup Eighthfinals at a glance
EIGHTHFINALS, ROUND 1, February 23 and 24
Teams Local Time CET Time Date
ALBA Berlin vs. FC Bayern Munich 19:30 CET 19:30 CET February 24
Limoges CSP vs. Herbalife Gran Canaria Las Palmas 20:40 CET 20:40 CET February 24
Strasbourg vs. EWE Baskets Oldenburg 20:45 CET 20:45 CET February 24
Banvit Bandirma vs. EA7 Emporio Armani Milan 18:00 CET 19:00 CET February 24
CAI Zaragoza vs. Dolomiti Energia Trento 20:30 CET 20:30 CET February 24
Nizhny Novgorod vs. Zenit St. Petersburg 18:00 CET 20:00 CET February 24
Stelmet Zielona Gora vs. Unics Kazan 19:00 CET 19:00 CET February 24
Pinar Karsikaya Izmir vs. Galatasaray Odeabank Istanbul 18:00 CET 19:00 CET February 24

EIGHTHFINALS, ROUND 2, March 1 and 2
Teams Local Time CET Time Date
FC Bayern Munich vs. ALBA Berlin 20:00 CET 20:00 CET March 1
Herbalife Gran Canaria Las Palmas vs. Limoges CSP 21:00 CET 20:00 CET March 2
EWE Baskets Oldenburg vs. Strasbourg 20:45 CET 20:45 CET March 1
EA7 Emporio Armani Milan vs. Banvit Bandirma 20:00 CET 20:00 CET March 2
Dolomiti Energia Trento vs. CAI Zaragoza 20:30 CET 20:30 CET March 1
Zenit St. Petersburg vs. Nizhny Novgorod 18:00 CET 20:00 CET March 2
Unics Kazan vs. Stelmet Zielona Gora 17:00 CET 19:00 CET March 2
Galatasaray Odeabank Istanbul vs. Pinar Karsiyaka Izmir 19:00 CET 20:00 CET March 1

Eighthfinal A: FC Bayern Munich (G1) vs. ALBA Berlin (J2)

FC Bayern Munich is back in the Eurocup Eighthfinals for the second straight season and eager to make club history by advancing one step further. Bayern entered the Last 32 after starting the season in the Turkish Airlines Euroleague and narrowly missing the Top 16. Coach Svetislav Pesic’s men rebounded well to win Group G with a 4-2 record. The team’s top weapons are in the backcourt with point guard Alex Renfroe (14.8 points, 5 assists, 18.8 PIR), swingman Nihad Djedovic (14.4 ppg.) and sharpshooter Anton Gavel (8.2 ppg., 52.9%), but the depth behind them is great with four more players averaging at least 8 points and another three with at least 6 points. With a former Euroleague and World Champion coach on the bench, the stage is set for a strong Bayern run.

ALBA Berlin left it till late before qualifying for the Eurocup Eighthfinals, but going far in this competition is no odd feat for a club that played for the Eurocup crown in 2010 and was in its quarterfinals just two years ago, with a pair of appearances in the Euroleague in between. ALBA placed second in Group J with a 3-3 record after beating Neptunas Klaipeda in a Last 32 Round 6 win-or-go-home contest. Coach Sasa Obradovic’s team played tough defense throughout the Last 32, in which it allowed the third-fewest points (72.2 ppg.). Do-it-all small forward Dragan Milosavljevic (16 ppg., 5.6 rpg., 4.6 apg.) led the way for ALBA in the Last 32, while the backcourt tandem of Will Cherry (11.2 ppg., 5.3 apg., 2 spg.) and mid-season acquisition Robert Lowery (13.7 ppg., 2 spg.) is a handful for opponents. The fact that nine players started for ALBA in the Last 32 alludes to the team’s overall depth and shows why it is a threat to go far in the Eurocup again.

Eighthfinal B: Herbalife Gran Canaria Las Palmas (H1) vs. Limoges CSP (I2)

After making it to the Eurocup Finals last season, Herbalife Gran Canaria Las Palmas has the ambition to reach even further this time. Gran Canaria led the Last 32 in index rating (104 per game) and assists (21.5 apg.), while tying for first place in scoring (88.5 ppg.). It was also first in two-point shooting (59.2%). Gran Canaria lost sharp shooter Kyle Kuric during the season, who was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Playmaker Kevin Pangos (12.9 ppg., 4.9 rpg.) and sharpshooter Sasu Salin (11.7 ppg.) have stepped up for Gran Canaria, which found its main frontcourt reference in Alen Omic (13.7 ppg., 8 rpg.), who ranks seventh in index at 18.7 per game. With head coach Aito Garcia Reneses leading the team, Gran Canaria has the experience and depth to do great things.

Reigning two-time French champion Limoges CSP made a strong finish to the Last 32. With the arrival of new head coach and former Alexander Gomelskiy Euroleague Coach of the Year Dusko Vujosevic, Limoges won three of its last four games, each by at least a 15-point margin. And while in three losses Limoges conceded an average of 89 points, in each of its three wins Limoges held opponents to 72 points or less, averaged 21 assists, and converted 62.9% of its two-point attempts. In the games to come, Limoges will try to improve its league-low 6.7 offensive rebounds. As many as 10 different players had at least one start in the Last 32, with Nobel Boungou-Colo leading four scorers averaging double-digits with 13.4 points. Will Daniels (12.3 ppg., 4.7 rpg.) also played a key role, while the playmaking trio of Leo Westermann, Heiko Schaffartzik and Bo McCalebb each averaged at least 3 assists, giving Vujosevic and Limoges a nice balance on the offensive end.

Eighthfinal C: EWE Baskets Oldenburg (I1) vs. Strasbourg (H2)

After a strong Last 32 in which EWE Baskets Oldenburg won Group I with a 4-2 record, this team will play in the Eurocup Eighthfinals for the first time. Oldenburg raised virtually all of its offensive statistics from the regular season to the Last 32, which it finished fifth in scoring (82.3 ppg.). Coach Mladen Drijencic enjoys a balanced attack with four players at different spots contributing big numbers in the Last 32: point guard Chris Kramer (10.5 ppg., 5.8 apg., 1.8 spg.), swingmen Rickey Paulding (12 ppg., 50% 3FG) and Vaughn Duggins (11.2 ppg.), and center Brian Qvale (12.7 ppg, 5.2 rpg.). That balance coupled with a deep bench could see Oldenburg continue to reach new heights this season.

After coming over from the Turkish Airlines Euroleague Regular Season, Strasbourg opened the Last 32 with four consecutive wins, before finishing off with a pair of losses. Strasbourg has had some huge wins on its home floor so far this season, including wins over Fenerbahce Istanbul and Real Madrid, and became one of only two teams that beat Herbalife Gran Canaria on the road dating back to 2011. Strasbourg found success by forcing the second-most turnovers (18.2 TOpg.), was tied for third in steals (8.8 spg.), and moved the ball well behind the playmaking duo of Louis Campbell and Mardy Collins to rank near the top with 18.5 assists. A nine-man rotation that carried out Strasbourg’s Last 32 campaign featured five double-digit scorers, led by Rodrigue Beaubois’ 13.5 points per game, while Matt Howard was stellar on the glass (8.2 rpg.) with a third-best 3.6 offensive boards per night.

Eighthfinal D: EA7 Emporio Armani Milan (J1) vs. Banvit Bandirma (G2)

Playing in the Eurocup for the first time in a decade, EA7 Emporio Armani Milan used a four-game winning streak in the midst of the Last 32 to win Group J with a 4-2 record. Milan started its season in the Turkish Airlines Euroleague before joining the Eurocup for the Last 32. Coach Jasmin Repesa’s team was perfect at home in the Last 32 and its 67.7 points allowed in home games rank third in the competition. Milan ranked second in the Last 32 in three-point accuracy (41.3%) thanks to the uncanny shooting abilities of Bruno Cerella (7 of 11 threes), big man Milan Macvan (12.2 ppg, 6 of 9 threes) and late addition Rakim Sanders (13 ppg., 4 of 6 threes). With swingman Kruno Simon (14.7 ppg, 18.8 PIR) and Jamel McLean (11.3 ppg.) playing big roles, Milan has the talent to go deep in the Eurocup for the first time.

In its sixth consecutive Eurocup season, Banvit Bandirma has the experience and talent to aspire for Eurocup glory. Banvit has improved throughout the season; it averaged 77 points and 79.8 index ranking in the regular season and boosted those numbers to 81.2 points and 92.5 index in the Last 32. Adrien Moerman leads all surviving players in rebounds (8.5 ppg.) and was second in index ranking (26 per game) in the Last 32, where he averaged 18.8 points and 9.3 rebounds. Do-it-all playmaker Courtney Fortson (13.8 ppg., 4.2 rpg., 5.6 apg., 1.8 spg.), experienced big man Gasper Vidmar (10.1 ppg., 6.2 rpg.) and sharpshooter Dominique Johnson (15.1 ppg., 40.8% 3FG) have stood out thus far. Banvit is last in free throw shooting (68.2%) this season - so there is room for improvement for a team on its way up.

Eighthfinal E: Dolomiti Energia Trento (K1) vs. CAI Zaragoza (N2)

After displaying offensive fireworks in the regular season by posting a second-best 87.5 points, newcomer Dolomiti Energia Trento’s offense slowed down in the Last 32 to 78.3 points per game, but it still clinched first place in its group before final round. Trento has had its ups and downs, having made three streaks of at least three consecutive wins, but also three of its five losses this Eurocup season have been by 13 points or more. The team ranked first in steals (10.3) and it forced the most turnovers (19) in the Last 32, but will look to improve on its 68.8% free throw shooting, which was second-lowest in the competition this season. However, having eight players averaging at least 7 points in the Last 32, led by the team’s top scorers and rebounders Davide Pascolo (15.7 ppg, 5.5 rpg) and Julian Wright (12 ppg, 5 ppg), Trento has the tools necessary to continue its run and make this debut Eurocup campaign one to remember.

In its third consecutive Eurocup season, CAI Zaragoza finally made it to the eighthfinals and wants to keep its momentum going. CAI has been strong at home, where it has won seven of its eight games in front of its fans, and was also tough on the road with a 4-4 record. CAI is second among qualified teams in offensive rebounds (13.2 orpg.), which has only gotten better with the arrival of center Slava Kravtsov (11.3 ppg., 6.7 rpg.) at start of the Last 32. CAI ranks fourth in turnovers (12.3 per game) and fifth in free-throw percentage (77.6%) among qualified teams. Stevan Jelovac (13.9 ppg., 6.2 rpg.) and Henk Norel (10.2 ppg., 4.9 rpg.) team up with Kravtsov in a rock-solid frontcourt, while Joan Sastre (8.8 ppg., 45% 3FG) and Tomas Bellas (5.3 apg.) are its main backcourt references. Expect CAI to be very competitive, especially at home.

Eighthfinal F: Zenit St. Petersburg (L1) vs. Nizhny Novgorod (M2)

In the Last 32, Zenit was ranked among the top five in rebounding (37 rpg.) and scoring on the road (82.7 ppg.). Zenit needed only five games to clinch first place in Group L, and for those games averaged above 40% three-point accuracy; the competitions’ top three-point marksman Ryan Toolson (3.2 made triples on 54.6% shooting) and Janis Timma went on to make a combined 29 triples in the Last 32. Zenit’s perimeter defense held opponents to a Last 32-low 27.1% on three-pointers attempted to allow only 5.8 threes per game, which was also lowest in the Last 32. Timma and Toolson are the team’s only scorers averaging double digits, but four more players – Evgeny Valiev, Andrey Koshcheev, Zab Dowdell and Pavel Antipov – average at least 9 points, which gives Zenit’s offense a nice balance and depth needed for making a long run in the competition.

Nizhny Novgorod has a core of players that went to the Eurocup semifinals two years ago and reached the Euroleague Top 16 last season. Nizhny qualified with a road win in a do-or-die situation against Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv, which says plenty about its competitiveness. Dimitriy Khvostov ranks second in the competition in assists (6.7 apg.) among qualified players and fifth overall in three-point shooting percentage (51.5%, 34-of-66). Khvostov runs the show, but versatile swingman Victor Rudd (15.1 ppg., 6.4 rpg.), forward Semen Antonov (12.5 ppg., 44% 3FG) and big man Rasid Mahalbasic (11.3 ppg, 5.2 rpg.) have been Nizhny's pillars throughout the season. Nizhny, which ranks high in three-point shooting (38.6%), has always responded with its back to the wall. Underestimating a team with such character would be a mistake.

Eighthfinal G: Unics Kazan (M1) vs. Stelmet Zielona Gora (L2)

The only team that was undefeated in the Last 32, Unics Kazan is currently on an eight-game winning streak and will have home-court advantage throughout the remaining rounds. Led by Last 32 scoring leader Keith Langford (22 ppg.) and assists leader Quino Colom (7.8 apg.), Unics got itself in this position thanks to the defense that allowed just 68.7 points on its home floor and an offense that put up 87 points away from home in the Last 32. No team had more defensive rebounds than Unics (27.9) and it was also third in total rebounds (37.5) in the Last 32, led by Latavious Williams (6.3 rpg.). With a deep roster that also features former Euroleague champ Kostas Kaimakoglou, former Eurocup champion Valeriy Likhodey and former Eurocup MVP Marko Banic, Unics is once again aiming to go all the way.

In its fourth consecutive Eurocup campaign, Stelmet Zielona Gora will play its first knockout series after advancing from Last 32 Group L from second place with a 3-3 record. Amazingly, Zielona Gora did so by winning all three of its road games, but losing three times at home. The team started the season in the Turkish Airlines Euroleague and scored wins against giants Panathinaikos Athens and Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar before entering the Eurocup for the Last 32. The Polish champs have ridden a balanced squad with four players averaging double figures in scoring, led by breakout forward Mateusz Ponitka (13.5 ppg., 8.3 rpg.), with five more players contributing at least 5 points per game. As a team, Zielona Gora’s 14 offensive rebounds per game are second in the Eurocup this season and the 66.7 points allowed on the road are the best in the competition.

Eighthfinal H: Galatasaray Odeabank Istanbul (N1) vs. Pinar Karsiyaka Izmir (K2)

By winning both its regular season and Last 32 groups, Galatasaray Odeabank Istanbul has been spectacular so far. Galatasaray leads all qualified teams in performance index rating (98.4 per game) and is second in scoring (85 ppg.), free throw shooting percentage (80.9%) and blocks (3.06 bpg.). The team kept winning despite losing scoring leader Errick McCollum (19.3 ppg.), who is expected to return soon. Blake Schilb (56.5% 3FG, 12.8 ppg, 4.1 apg.) leads the Eurocup in three-point shooting percentage, Vlado Micov (12.2 ppg., 92% FT) and Sinan Guler (9.9 ppg.) offer valuable experience at the wings, while Stephane Lasme (11 ppg., 6.4 rpg.) and Joey Dorsey (7.9 ppg., 6.5 rpg.) are tough, experienced players down low. Galatasaray has the complete package - experience, size, defense, talent. Can it go all the way?

Its final two Last 32 games say a lot about Pinar Karsiyaka Izmir. Needing two wins to advance, Karsiyaka allowed just 43 points against Trabzonspor Medical Park in Round 5 and scored 109 against Grissin Bon Reggio Emilia, winning both games by a combined margin of 78 points. Roster changes and injuries have limited Karsiyaka throughout the season, but it seems like everything is clicking at the right time for Coach Ufuk Sarica's team. Karsiyaka had the second-best defense in the Last 32 (71 ppg.) and the third-best offense (83 ppg.). Bracey Wright (19 ppg.) was the fourth-best scorer in the Last 32, ranking fifth in index rating (23.2 per game). Colton Iverson (11.5 ppg., 5.8 rpg.) and Kenan Sipahi (7.4 ppg.) have also stepped up. Karsiyaka, backed by its world-class, noisy, diehard fans, will be a tough opponent.