No-one wants to miss Game 3!
One of the most important games in European basketball this season takes place tonight when Valencia Basket and ALBA Berlin face each other in do-or-die Game 3 of the 7DAYS EuroCup Finals. ALBA met the press before its shootaround on Monday morning. Everyone was there, including Stefan Peno, who is still recovering from his injury. He was taking flat-footed jumpers with ALBA's development coach, Carlos Frade. There was a double surprise in ALBA's morning practice. ALBA Group's CEO and the club's Supervisory Board Chairman, Axel Schweitzer, came to practice to wish his team's players and coaches good luck. His wife and three kids missed the first two games of the finals, but flew in from Hong Kong to surprise Mr. Schweitzer and be present for Game 3.
ALBA fan-favorite Martin Hermannsson told us he didn't know anything about the EuroCup before he joined the team. We wanted to check back now, before the final game of the season, and see what he thought now. "I think it is a pretty strong competition, with a lot of great players and a lot of great teams. I was a little bit surprised, I am not going to lie, with the physicality and the IQ of the basketball in this competition," Hermannsson said. "It has been a hell of a ride so far, but I want to make this first year even more special."
All of the ALBA players can become first-time EuroCup champions tonight. If that happens, two players - Peyton Siva and Niels Giffey - will be the first to have won the NCAA Tournament and EuroCup titles. Giffey won NCAA titles with the University of Connecticut in 2011 and 2014. Siva won that tournament with Louisville in 2013. We spoke to Giffey about his experience and whether it has any impact in a high-pressure do-or-die game like this. "I think so, especially with the surroundings, the bigger stages, with more fans," Giffey said. "You learn how to cope with it and focus on what you have to do, on what coach wants us to do. Everybody like a good competition, right?"
Valencia is once again putting together a huge basketball atmosphere to try to keep the trophy home. The game has been sold out since the moment the remaining tickets went out. Just like in Game 1, Valencia has joined forces with former title sponsor Pamesa Ceramica to do a series of activities before and during the game. Fans have been asked to be there at 18:00 - two and a half hours before the game - to meet the team. Valencia's DJ and brass band will be there to make sure the basketball party starts long before the game. As in Game 1, there will be a corner in "La Fonteta" with a photocall to remember this game forever, a social media contest in which the winner will win a signed jersey and a GoPro sports camera, there will be pyrotechnics during the Valencia players' introductions, 8,000 clappers will be distributed as well as 8,000 balloons to be burst with the opening tip. Hundreds of Pamesa gifts - backpacks, hats and T-shirts - will be thrown into the stands during timeouts.
If you are a Valencia fan going to the game and wondering how to get into the social network contest, it is not too difficult. First of all, you need to be a season ticket holder or have a valid ticket to the game. The, you go Valencia Basket's Facebook page, look for a post by Pamesa Valencia on that page and give the right answer to the question. Four finalists will be chosen randomly and will be contacted via Facebook. Those finalists will battle on the court during a timeout for the prizes - a EuroCup jersey signed by the entire Valencia team and a GoPro sports camera.
A huge basketball atmosphere, two teams battling for a continental trophy in a winner-takes-all situation at the end of an outstanding three-game series? What's not to like? Find out who is the 2018-19 7DAYS EuroCup champion - Game 3 of the EuroCup Finals starts at 20:30 CET!