After not getting past the regular season in its debut EuroCup campaign last year, Morabanc Andorra used the experience to get better, stronger and more competitive. Morabanc survived a do-or-die battle against LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne for an 80-82 win in Game 3 on Wednesday that sent the proud team from the Principality of Andorra to the 7DAYS EuroCup Semifinals. It is an unprecedented success and ALBA Berlin should have reasons to worry because Morabanc has been getting better and better throughout the season.
Morabanc has followed the main rule to do well in European competitions: protect your home court. Indeed, Morabanc has won all of its nine home games in the EuroCup this season and is 12-2 at Poliesportiu D'Andorra in competition history - an 85.7% winning record in front of its fans.
Once it proved it could protect its home court, it was time for Morabanc to win on the road, which wasn't easy. The team lost its first eight road games in the competition dating back to last season until it finally downed Germani Brescia Leonessa in Round 7 of the regular season, 73-79. Since then, Morabanc has been 4-3 on the road.
In Game 3, Morabanc made 10 of 20 shots from downtown (50.0%) and limited ASVEL to just 7-of-21 shooting (33.3%) from downtown. Two of them, missed by Mantas Kalnietis and A.J. Slaughter, allowed Morabanc to reach the semifinals. Dylan Ennis had 14 points on 8-of-9 free throw shooting, 4 rebounds, 7 assists and 6 fouls drawn for a performance index rating of 14. He scored the go-ahead basket with over a minute left.
Morabanc also became the 10th Spanish League team to make it this far in the EuroCup. Estudiantes Madrid, Valencia Basket, Joventut Badalona, Real Madrid, Akasvayu Girona, Bilbao Basket, Cajasol Sevilla, Herbalife Gran Canaria and Unicaja Malaga reached the EuroCup Semifinals before Morabanc. Look for Morabanc to keep representing its microstate well. Next stop: Mercedes-Benz Arena, for Game 1 of the semifinals against ALBA.