The semifinals of the 2022-23 EuroCup season will be held on Wednesday evening in Riga and Las Palmas respectively. As we got used to it last season and in this season’s playoffs, the format is a single-game elimination, so the four competitors left standing have only two games to win in order to grab the EuroCup trophy and even more importantly, to secure a spot in next season’s EuroLeague.
While the game between Prometey and Turk Telekom is expected to be a great match too with an outcome that is hard to predict (Prometey is considered favourite with odds around 1.60 on most websites) we will focus more on the Spanish derby between Gran Canaria and Joventut Badalona.
The two representatives of the ACB League were considered to be the biggest favourites to win the trophy at the beginning of the season and they didn’t disappoint. Gran Canaria comfortably won Group B, finishing with a 15-3 record. In the Eight finals, Jaka Lakovic and his men had a tough game against last year’s finalists Bursaspor. The Turkish team lead by 2 points at the beginning of the fourth quarter, but the home team led by John Shurna kept its calm and won 72-66. Then, the team from the Canary Island hosted Paris Basketball and this time there was no question about the better team, Damien Inglis and company winning by 30 points (104-74).
Joventut Badalona had some trouble in Group A but Carles Duran and his team finished the season with seven consecutive wins that secured them the 2nd place in the group, with 15 wins and 5 defeats. As always, Joventut has some good young players in their roster, but they made sure to keep important veterans in the team too, like Ante Tomic, Pau Ribas or Guillem Vives, just to name a few. These experienced players are very important for these do-or-die games like we will have on Wednesday. So far, Badalona beat London Lions (89-78) and Hapoel Tel Aviv (82-74) in the playoffs, but these games were played in Palau Municipal in Badalona. This time, they will have to play an away game in a very tough arena. Gran Canaria is considered to be the favourite with odds at around 1.45, but it remains to be seen who will handle the pressure better in such an important game.
Photo credit: ACB