7DAYS EuroCup Semifinals at a glance

Mar 15, 2019 by Eurocupbasketball.com Print
7DAYS EuroCup Semifinals at a glance

The four teams still standing in the 2019 7DAYS EuroCup Semifinals have both the winningest team in competition history and a second-year side that has already achieved its greatest result in continental basketball. Regardless of how they got here, Valencia Basket, UNICS Kazan, ALBA Berlin and MoraBanc Andorra all start Game 1 in the same position – needing to win two of the next three to get to the finals.

Valencia Basket vs UNICS Kazan

This series is a rematch of the 2014 EuroCup Finals and features two of the best defenses in the competition. UNICS, which is the stingiest of all teams and allowing just 73.0 points per game, held off Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar in the quarterfinals. Valencia was the only team to sweep its quarterfinal series this season when it knocked off Rytas Vilnius in two games. Coach Jaume Ponsarnau's squad is ranked fourth with 74.3 points allowed per game. The winningest team in EuroCup history with three titles from five appearances in the final, Valencia rides a 12-game winning streak into the series. Its 16 victories this season are tied with UNICS for the most in the EuroCup. The series also features two of the top performers in the entire competition this season: Point guard Pierria Henry of UNICS was the EuroCup Regular Season MVP and Valencia big man Bojan Dubljevic was the Top 16 MVP. This will be the third time these teams meet in a EuroCup elimination series. Valencia topped UNICS in the 2013 quarterfinals and swept the finals the next season. They have not played each other in any format since. Pavel Sergeev is the only UNICS player from that series still with the team; Bojan Dubljevic, Rafa Martinez and Sam Van Rossom remain for Valencia.

ALBA Berlin vs MoraBanc Andorra

Two of the best-scoring teams in the EuroCup square off in this series. ALBA's 87.8 points per game are second in the competition – and best among teams that got past the regular season. MoraBanc is fourth with 84.4 points per game. While ALBA advanced to this stage for the first time since 2010, this is already the deepest MoraBanc has ever climbed in any European competition. Both teams stared down elimination in game 3 of the EuroCup Semifinals to advance. ALBA rallied from 13 down to oust Unicaja Malaga, while MoraBanc watched a shot by LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne's A.J. Slaughter at the buzzer that would have sent the club from Andorra home if it went in. ALBA was the only team to lose Game 1 of the quarterfinals at home and MoraBanc was the only team to win Game 3 on the road. Backcourt play will be vital to the series with Peyton Siva and Martin Hermannsson a dangerous duo for ALBA and Andrew Albicy and Dylan Ennis the same for MoraBanc. Both teams have been victims of injuries this season and neither will be at full strength for the semifinals with Stefan Peno sidelined for ALBA and Oliver Stevic and David Walker for MoraBanc. This series marks the first time these teams have ever played one another.