Preview: Which teams will make the FIBA Europe Cup Finals?
MUNICH (Germany) - Only four teams remain in the battle to be crowned champions of the 2022-23 FIBA Europe Cup season.
The Semi-Finals get underway this week in the traditional home-and-away format as the two victors will advance to the Finals in April.
Cholet Basket meet BC Kalev/Cramo, while Karhu Basket take on Anwil Wloclawek with all four sides reaching this stage of the competition for the first time.
Karhu Basket v Anwil Wloclawek
Karhu won both of their games against FC Porto in the Quarter-Finals with the Finnish team taking home a one-point victory in the first leg before a defense-powered victory for a 156-145 win overall.
On the other side, Anwil narrowly lost their home matchup against Gaziantep, falling by just a single point. However, the Polish club dominated on the road to snap their opponents' seven-game win streak by claiming a 91-75 triumph to seal a 175-160 success on aggregate.
Key Matchups: Karhu's duo of Jaye Crockett and Daniel Dolenc can cause problems on both ends of the floor for the opposition and the battle inside should be an important one as Anwil's Josip Sobin and Luke Petrasek will need to hold their own in the paint.
Stats Watch: Both of these teams love to spread offensive responsibility around, finding any open shooter available. It's worked well, as Karhu (40.6 percent) and Anwil (41.4) rank in the top three in three-point percentages as well as both featuring in the top five for points per game.
Another stat to watch: the turnovers of Karhu. They top that category this season with 16.0 per game, whilst also ranking second in assists per game so how they take care of the ball will be key.
Cholet Basket v BC Kalev/Cramo
Cholet was the only club to make the Semi-Finals without winning its aggregate matchup by at least 10 points. After a one point loss against BC Budivelnyk Kyiv, the French side managed to hold them off via a narrow 83-79 win to prevail 155-152 on aggregate.
Meanwhile, Kalev/Cramo followed a three point first leg win over Brose Bamberg with a dominating 85-67 victory to take the home-and-away contest 165-144 on aggregate.
Key Matchups: One of the key matchups to keep an eye on will be the offensive threat of Kalev/Cramo's Wesley Van Beck and Arthur Konontsuk up against Cholet's team defense. The Estonian club isn't particularly strong from long-range, but Van Beck and Konontsuk can both be deadly from long-range and Cholet will need to prevent them from getting hot.
Stats Watch: Both sides average less than 83.0 points per game and will have no problems locking horns in a defensive duel. Cholet have still been efficient scorers when needed; ranking third at 49.4 percent in field goal shooting with Kalev/Cramo down in 9th at 46.1 percent.
Kalev/Cramo have the lowest turnover rate in the competition as they offer up just 10.1 per game, while Cholet rank third in steals at 8.3 per game - just ahead of their opponents's 8.2 per outing, so something may have to give in this regard.