Which teams will advance to the BCL Finals?
Palacio de Deportes Jose Maria Martin Carpena in Malaga will be the host on May 12-14 of the Basketball Champions League Final 4 where Unicaja Malaga, Hapoel Bank Yahav Jerusalem and Telekom Baskets Bonn will fight for the trophy.
Lenovo Tenerife – Hapoel Bank Yahav Jerusalem
In the first semifinal, last season’s champion Lenovo Tenerife tries to find solutions against one of the best defenses, Hapoel Jerusalem. The Spanish are better from the 2-point line (56.2%-54.9%), from the 3-point line (39.7%-35.7%), from the free throws (79.2%-63.4%), Hapoel has better statistics in rebounds (35-33), steals (8-7), assists (19-18), blocks (4-2) and turnovers (12-13). An important difference is represented by points from the bench where Tenerife leads with 35.3-27.5. Both teams needed a decisive match to get here, Tenerife beat Manresa and Hapoel eliminated AEK. It will be a duel between the experience of players like Shermadini (14.0 ppg, 5.0 reb), Huertas (12.7 ppg, 7.0 ast), Fitipaldo (11.5 ppg) and the energy of the Israelis brought by Randolph (15.0 ppg, 4.0 reb, 2.5 ast), Hankins (13.3 reb, 8.3 reb) and Carrington (12.4 ppg, 2.8 ast). From my point of view, Tenerife starts with the first chance in this semi-final for several reasons: the bench is much longer, the offense is based on the experience of some players used to important matches and the fact that they are playing in Spain.
Unicaja Malaga – Telekom Baskets Bonn
In the second semifinal, the host of the competition, Unicaja Malaga, will meet the representative of Germany, Telekom Bonn. Unicaja is superior in many categories: from the 2-point line (55.3%-53%), from the 3-point line (38.1%-37%), from the free-throw line (74.7%-73.6), steals (8- 7), assists (21-19), points from the bench (44.0-32.5), the only advantage of the Germans is rebounds (38-36). Unicaja eliminated Murcia in the playoffs in two easy matches, Bonn needed a decisive match to eliminate Strasbourg after they started with a defeat at home, their only defeat since January 15. The best offense of the competition is led by Brizuela (13.1 ppg), Kravish (11.6 ppg, 5.3 reb) and Perry (11.1 ppg, 4.1 ast), the German game depends on the mood of Shorts (18.7 ppg, 7.1 ast, 4.0 reb) assisted by Hawkins (14.0 ppg). Unicaja is the stronger team and has the advantage of its home ground where in 2023 only Baskonia in OT and Barcelona with 5 points managed to win.
Photo credit: Basketball Champions League