Finals preview: Anwil, Cholet battle to become first-time winners
MUNICH (Germany) - The FIBA Europe Cup Finals have almost arrived as Anwil Wloclawek and Cholet Basket battle it out over two legs with the opening game on Wednesday.
Anwil are attempting to continue their European run and finish as the competition's first champions from Poland, while Cholet Basket are trying to become the second French team to take the title after Nanterre won the title in the 2016-17 season.
The newly crowned champions will be confirmed in Cholet on Wednesday, April 26 for the second leg, with the Finals starting out in Anwil on Wednesday, April 19.
Anwil Wloclawek v Cholet Basket
Form guide: Anwil are 11-5 in the competition this season with three wins out of four in the Play-Offs — just a one-point loss against Gaziantep on the way. Domestically, the team have a 15-12 record and are right on the edge of making it into the post-season in Poland.
Cholet have a 13-5 season record in European competition having had to come through the Qualifiers. They have lost twice already in the knockout stages, but crucially came out on top both times in second leg action to make the Finals. In the French league, they are 17-11, which sees them sit in fourth place.
Key matchup: Both teams can count on a number of players to step up, but Dominic Artis has been on fire in the Play-Offs for Cholet. The guard had back-to-back games with 26 points and is averaging 15.1 points per game on the season with 16 made triples in the last three outings. However, Anwil will look to find ways to limit the impact of Artis and that could be the key matchup to look out for in the Finals.
X-factor: Although still a capable shooting team, Cholet trails far behind Anwil in three-point shooting this season, in terms of percentage and attempts. The Polish club particularly counts on Phillip Greene, who leads the competition in three-point makes per game, and is also among the leaders in three-point percentage at 51.5. If Greene and company can get hot from long-range, Cholet may not be able to keep up in a shootout.
It's going to be a wild 𝗪𝗜𝗟𝗗 final, I can tell you now. ❤️#FIBAEuropeCup x @CB_officiel pic.twitter.com/ugWzMIA3kb— FIBA Europe Cup (@FIBAEuropeCup) April 5, 2023
Did you know? Josip Sobin was part of the Arged BMSLAM Stal side that finished as runners-up in the 2020-21 season, and will now make a second appearance in a Final with a second Polish team.
Experienced forward Kim Tillie won a bronze medal with France at the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2014 - playing alongside Rudy Gobert, who played for Cholet prior to being drafted in the NBA a decade ago.