7DAYS EuroCup Quarterfinals at a glance

Mar 12, 2021 by Eurocupbasketball.com Print
7DAYS EuroCup Quarterfinals at a glance

The 7DAYS EuroCup Quarterfinals feature eight teams that have all previously qualified for this stage. One series pits two former EuroLeague champions against each other, while another is between former EuroCup champs from the same country. Adding to the quarterfinals intrigue, three of the four teams with home-court advantage – Virtus Segafredo Bologna, AS Monaco and Boulogne Metropolitans 92 - have never won a quarterfinals series before.

AS Monaco vs. Buducnost VOLI Podgorica

This series guarantees a first-time semifinalist. Monaco will play its first-ever EuroCup Quarterfinals game, having qualified last season before the COVID-19 pandemic interfered and stopped the competition, denying its quarterfinals debut. Buducnost is in its fourth quarterfinals, but has never gotten past this stage. Monaco had a 5-1 record in the Top 16, averaging a second-best 91.3 points in six games, which came after allowing a regular season-low 72.4 points. Buducnost, on the other hand, enters this series full of confidence, having won two must-win games to end the Top 16, on the road at JL Bourg en Bresse before dismissing Cedevita Olimpija Ljubljana in a do-or-die Round 6 game. Both of those wins have come under the new head coach Dejan Milojevic, who took over the team in late January. Whatever Buducnost does, however, should come as no surprise for Monaco and its Podgorica-born head coach Zvezdan Mitrovic, who spent many years as part of Buducnost's staff and has coached several Buducnost players during his tenure as coach of the Montenegrin national team, including Nikola Ivanovic, who has averaged 15.2 points this season.

Boulogne Metropolitans 92 vs. Herbalife Gran Canaria

Metropolitans is back to this stage for the first time since 2015, while Gran Canaria has reached at least the quarterfinals in each of its last four EuroCup seasons, including a EuroCup Finals appearances in 2015. The two teams essentially took opposite routes to get to the quarterfinals. Metropolitans opened the Top 16 with a 3-0 record, but needed to rally from 9 points down by hitting a season-high 14 three-pointers in a must-win Top 16 Round 6 game against Partizan NIS Belgrade to advance. Gran Canaria started the Top 16 with a 0-3 record and faced elimination in every game afterward. Led by A.J. Slaughter and his 19.2 points, the team won each of its last three games – the first two on the road before holding off UNICS at home – to reach the quarterfinals. No team still playing in the competition has made more threes this season than Gran Canaria's 11.6 per game, while Metropolitans has made more than 10 three-point shots just three times this season and has averaged 74.5 points during the Top 16, the lowest of any team that qualified for the quarterfinals.

Segafredo Virtus Bologna vs. Joventut Badalona

Two former EuroLeague champions will clash in a series where Virtus comes in with a 16-0 record and has won its games by an average of 12.8 points this season. Led by regular season MVP Milos Teodosic, Coach Sash Djordjevic's team has averaged a PIR of 107.7, which is second-best in competition history behind only 108.5 set in 2007-08 by – Joventut, which went on to win the EuroCup that season. Joventut is now back to the quarterfinals for the first time since that season. It is second to Virtus with 12 wins this season and it has the offensive production to counter Virtus. While the Italian side leads the EuroCup in scoring (89.2 ppg.), assists (24.8 apg.), and two-point shooting (61.2%), Joventut enters the quarterfinals ranked second in assists (20.1 apg.), third in scoring (86.4 ppg.), and third in two-point accuracy (58.8%). Virtus has its stars on the perimeter, Joventut's strength comes inside with big men Ante Tomic, Vladimir Brodziansky and Conor Morgan. We might see some serious offensive fireworks in this series.

UNICS Kazan vs. Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar

It's an all-Russian showdown between two former champions and perennial contenders that know just about everything about each other. It is also the third time UNICS and Lokomotiv face each other in the EuroCup Quarterfinals; UNICS has gone through both previous times, first in 2015 and again in 2019. UNICS is entering this series coming off a dominant Top 16, which it finished with a 5-1 record. Few teams have been as up-and-down this season as Lokomotiv, which looked all but eliminated with a 1-3 record, but then won its last two games by a combined 36 points to storm into the quarterfinals. UNICS features two of the best five three-point shooters this season; Isaiah Canaan and Jamar Smith have combined to make 85 three-point shots this season. Lokomotiv has the second-best scoring offense, averaging 87.4 points, and the team leans on small forward Mindaugas Kuzminskas, who was the Top 16 Round 6 MVP to lead Lokomotiv into the quarterfinals.