Everything you need to know about the FIBA Europe Cup Final Four
MUNICH (Germany) - Four teams are competing for their first European title this weekend as they battle it out for the FIBA Europe Cup crown.
We run through the two matchups with all you need to know ahead of the exciting finale that will see a new name on the trophy.
When: April 23-25, 2021
Where: Menora Mivtachim Arena, Tel-Aviv (ISR)
Who: Arged BMSLAM Stal (POL), BC Parma (RUS), CSM CSU Oradea (ROU), Ironi Ness Ziona (ISR)
BC Parma v Ironi Ness Ziona
BC Parma and Ironi Ness Ziona should serve up an entertaining treat to open the Final Four weekend with the unbeaten Russians looking to spoil the party in Tel Aviv. Both teams enjoy putting the ball in the basket with their high-tempo offense and have European glory in their sights for that added motivation.
Season so far
Parma have been an efficient force with four victories from as many games - all of which were won by more than a double-digit margin. They won both games in the Regular Season before a 90-61 success over Rilski Sportist was followed by an 84-62 victory to end the run of BC Balkan. Ironi Ness Ziona's only defeat came against Arged BMSLAM Stal in the Regular Season after starting 2-0 and after overcoming Anwil, 86-81, in the Round of 16, they handed Iraklis their first loss with an emphatic 105-80 triumph.
The back-court duo of Patrick Miller and Braian Angola was a particularly dangerous combination in the Play-Offs and their fast-paced style will come up against one of the smoothest operators this season in Adas Juskevicius with the Lithuanian leading the way for the Russian side. Jerome Meyinsse put up 26 points in his side's Quarter-Final victory, but will have a tough task on his hands with Vladimir Ivlev and Mareks Mejeris patrolling the paint.
Points - Patrick Miller (Ironi Ness Ziona) 17.0 PPG; Adas Juskevicius (BC Parma) 16.0 PPG; Braian Angola (Ironi Ness Ziona) 15.6 PPG
Rebounds - Jerome Meyinsse (Ironi Ness Ziona) 6.8 RPG; Mareks Mejeris (BC Parma) 6.0 RPG; Vladimir Ivlev (BC Parma) 5.8 RPG
Assists - Tal Dunne (Ironi Ness Ziona) 5.6 APG; Patrick Miller (Ironi Ness Ziona) 5.4 APG; Braian Angola (Ironi Ness Ziona) 4.8 APG
Did you know?
- Ironi Ness Ziona are the leading scorers (91.4 points per game) in the competition this season, while BC Parma rank second (88.0 points per game) with both teams shooting above 50 percent from the field;
- Ironi Ness Ziona also lead the competition in assists (23.0 per game) with six different players averaging 10+ points per game;
- Ironi Ness Ziona's Braian Angola combined for 24.0 points, 7.5 rebounds and 5.5 assists per game in the knockout stages after averaging 10.0 points, 3.3 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game in the Regular Season;
- BC Parma have conceded 62.0 points per game over their last three wins in this season's competition;
- BC Parma are the first Russian team to reach the Semi-Finals of the FIBA Europe Cup since Enisey finished in fourth place in the inaugural 2015-16 season
- BC Parma's Adas Juskevicius has made the joint-most number of three-pointers this season (15) and also made 100 percent of his free throw attempts.
CSM CSU Oradea v Arged BMSLAM Stal
The two teams had contrasting journeys to get to this point, but momentum is building with CSM CSU Oradea as they come up against their undefeated opponents. Arged BMSLAM Stal have taken care of business so far with five wins from five, though form can often go out of the window in a single-leg knockout.
Season so far
Oradea almost fell at the first hurdle, but survived the Regular Season despite their 1-2 record at the expense of Besiktas ICRYPEX. The Romanians made the most of their opportunity on home soil in the Play-Offs with victories of BC Dnipro and UNAHOTELS Reggio Emilia. Meanwhile, Arged BMSLAM Stal swept through their group 3-0 in the Regular Season before securing their place by beating Belfius Mons-Hainaut 73-66 after seeing off Heroes Den Bosch in the Round of 16.
Both teams have the experience to call upon in the backcourt with 32-year-old James Florence - who top-scored in both Play-Offs wins - and 35-year-old Taurean Green coming off the bench to add to the depth for Arged BMSLAM Stal behind Trey Kell, who has enjoyed a strong campaign in Poland. Oradea have a veteran point guard of their own with Giordan Watson still leading the way at 35, and they will also look to utilize their Serbian front-court duo of Dragan Zekovic and Nikola Markovic in tandem, with Croatia's Josip Sobin adding to the European talent on the other side of the floor.
Points - Trey Kell (Arged BMSLAM Stal) 14.4 PPG; Jakub Garbacz (Arged BMSLAM Stal) 13.4 PPG; Giordan Watson (CSM CSU Oradea) 12.8 PPG
Rebounds - Josip Sobin (Arged BMSLAM Stal) 7.0 RPG; Garlon Green (CSM CSU Oradea) 5.6 RPG; Nikola Markovic (CSM CSU Oradea) 5.5 RPG
Assists - Taurean Green (Arged BMSLAM Stal) 4.8 APG; Trey Kell (Arged BMSLAM Stal) 4.6 APG; Giordan Watson (CSM CSU Oradea) 4.2 APG
Did you know?
- Arged BMSLAM Stal - along with BC Parma - are vying to become the first unbeaten winner in the competition's history;
- It is the first time that a team from Romania and Poland have reached the Semi-Finals of the FIBA Europe Cup;
- CSM CSU Oradea have the third-best three-point shooting percentage (41.7%) in this season's competition;
- CSM CSU Oradea's Stephen Holt averaged 17.0 points per game in the Playoffs after only posting 5.0 points per game during the Regular Season;
- Prior to the Quarter-Final matchup, Arged BMSLAM Stal had scored 85+ points in each of their previous four victories;
- Arged BMSLAM Stal have not scored more points in the paint than their opponents in any FIBA Europe Cup game this season.