TEL AVIV (Israel) – The FIBA Europe Cup title is on the line on Sunday as Arged BMSLAM Stal meet Ironi Ness Ziona meet in the Championship showdown.
Both sides are chasing their first European title as they look to join the competition’s roll of honor that currently contains two teams from Italy (Umana Reyer Venezia, Dinamo Sassari), one from France (Nanterre 92) and one from Germany (Fraport Skyliners).
Arged BMSLAM Stal v Ironi Ness Ziona
Route to the Final:
Arged BMSLAM Stal remain unbeaten with a 6-0 overall record in this season’s competition, though four of those victories were decided by single-digit margins. They survived a game-winning attempt in their second group game against Sporting CP as they advanced with an 85-83 success before beating Ironi Ness Ziona. In the Play-Offs, Heroes Den Bosch were their next victims with the Polish side clinching a place in the Final Four as they overcame Belfius Mons-Hainaut in their lowest-scoring encounter.
Regular Season: 90-80 v Szolnoki Olajbanyasz; 85-83 v Sporting CP; 93-86 v Ironi Ness Ziona; Round of 16: 92-83 v Heroes Den Bosch; Quarter-Finals: 73-66 v Belfius Mons-Hainaut; Semi-Finals: 77-66 v CSM CSU Oradea
Ness Ziona started their campaign with back-to-back victories including a 17-point win over Szolnoki Olajbanyasz, though their winning start was ended at the hands of their Final opponents. They brushed aside BC Kyiv Basket in the Round of 16 with a 14-point win and backed up that display with an emphatic 25-point triumph over previously unbeaten Iraklis BC as Braian Angola caught fire in the knockout stages to lead his side into the Final Four.
Ness Ziona really set the tone early on with their aggressive start at both ends of the floor; forcing BC Parma into multiple turnovers, whilst attacking the basket at will. They kept it close as their opponents threatened to pull away and Selden stepped up when it mattered with the ice-cold triple with 9.5 seconds on the clock. As for Arged BMSLAM Stal, they showed their ability to overcome early signs of trouble in wiping out a 10-point deficit before taking control of the contest.
Both teams had already qualified for the Round of 16 when they meet in the Regular Season to decide top spot in Group C, in Wloclawek. Arged BMSLAM Stal led from start to finish in the contest – with the gap as large as 23 points – as Trey Kell and James Florence combined for 33 points, while Jaroslaw Mokros had 14 points without a miss. Ness Ziona had five players in double figures and fought back to close within two points at 83-81 with 3:07 remaining.
What they said:
„I remember the first game – we got out to a pretty good lead and they fought back all the way later in the game. I know it will be a hard-fought battle until the last second, just like the game they played before us, it was down to the last possession so I expect the same thing. I’m sure we’ll be ready and they will be ready so it will be a good game,“ – Trey Kell, Arged BMSLAM Stal guard.
„We just came out aggressive, playing our game. I was super confident – I saw Pat [Miller] look at mebefore he crossed half-court and I just got ready to knock that shot down. I missed a few before that, but I knew if I had that opportunity I would be ready. The support was tremendous and it means so much for Ness Ziona and the country. We’re thankful to be in this position, it was great to have the fans in there and we’re excited to have them back in on Sunday,“ – Wayne Selden, Ironi Ness Ziona guard.
Did you know?
- Ironi Ness Ziona has scored the most points per game among all teams in the FIBA Europe Cup this season (89.7); they also lead the competition in assists with an average of 21.7 per game;
- Arged BMSLAM Stal have made on average 11.7 shots from behind the arc per game, the second most of any team in the FIBA Europe Cup this season; they made 10+ three-pointers in their first five games in the competition but failed to do it so in their most recent game (8-of-31);
- Patrick Miller has combined for 15+ points, 5+ rebounds and 5+ assists in each of his last three appearances for Ironi Ness Ziona in the FIBA Europe Cup; he has made 19 assists and only four turnovers in his last three games, boasting an assist per turnover ratio of 4.8;
- Trey Kell has scored in double digits in each of his six appearances for Arged BMSLAM Stal in the FIBA Europe Cup this season; he has also recorded 5+ assists in each of his last five games in the competition.
CSM CSU Oradea v BC Parma
Before the Final, Oradea and Parma meet to decide third place in this season’s FIBA Europe Cup. Parma suffered their first loss in heartbreaking fashion in their Semi-Final encounter with Ness Ziona, while Oradea were unable to sustain their bright start against Arged BMSLAM Stal as they eventually fell to an 11-point defeat.
Did you know?
- CSM Oradea have lost 11 of the 13 FIBA Europe Cup games in which they were losing at half-time, including each of their last six;
- BC Parma have scored the most three-pointers per game among all teams in the FIBA EuropeCup 2020/21; they made 15 shots from behind the arc in the Semi-Finals – their most in a single game in the league this season.
Quelle: FIBA, 24. April 2021