The Eurocup Finals will feature two teams fighting for their maiden continental trophies after Galatasaray Odeabank Istanbul and Strasbourg survived their respective two-game, total points semifinals series to advance. Both series went down to the last possible second, including one in overtime, as four worthy adversaries battled for glory. The Eurocup Finals are scheduled to open on April 22.
SEMIFINAL A: Herbalife Gran Canaria Las Palmas 94-81 OT Galatasaray Odeabank Istanbul
After a dramatic overtime period, Galatasaray Odeabank Istanbul knocked out Herbalife Gran Canaria Las Palmas despite losing the game 94-81. Galatasaray advanced on aggregate due to its 75-89 Game 1 victory a week earlier in the series opener. Galatasaray will play for its first continental trophy thanks in large parts to the efforts of Vladimir Micov, who led his team with 21 point and 7 rebounds. Micov forced overtime with a tough layup with 2.1 seconds left in regulation and wrapped up the needed result with a blocked shot in the closing seconds of the extra session. Chuck Davis of Galatasaray made history by scoring 9 points and in doing so moved past Rado Rancik for third place on the Eurocup’s career scoring charts with 1,130 points. The result denied Gran Canaria a return to the Eurocup Finals after losing to Khimki Moscow Region last season.
SEMIFINAL B: Dolomiti Energia Trento 78-86 Strasbourg
Strasbourg is the first French team to reach the Eurocup Finals. Strasbourg defeated Dolomiti Energia Trento 78-86 in the second leg of their two-game, total-points series to win by 2 points on aggregate. The team improved to 5-1 in Eurocup road games this season and won a series for the second time in which it had lost the opener at home. Romain Duport and Mardy Collins paced the winners with 20 points apiece; Duport added 7 rebounds and Collins dished 7 assists. Strasbourg led by 1 at halftime, but still trailed on aggregate after losing 74-68 in Game 1 a week earlier. The visitors pulled awaywith a big third quarter and led by as many as 19 points – and 13 on aggregate – with six minutes left in the fourth quarter. Trento fought back and tied the game on aggregate, but Romain Duport’s big three-pointer with 13 seconds left gave Strasbourg a 4-point lead and despite a three by Julian Wright seconds later, Trento ran out of time in the end. Its historic debut season in European competition ended when Davide Pascolo missed a desperation three as time expired.