Eurocup Final, preview and analysis

Lokomotiv Kuban and Uxue Bilbao Basket will play their first Eurocup final in both clubs history on April 13th at the RTL Spiroudome, Charleroi.

Russia and Spain will have teams in the 2012-13 Eurocup Final that will be played in Belgium is the new format adapted for this season.

Lokomotiv Kuban had only four defeats on this journey to Charleroi two being in the regular season, one in the last 16 round and 1 in the second leg of the semifinals playing at home against Valencia but because of point differential they still advanced.

The Russian club continued their good performances from last year’s competition where they eliminated in by another team from Russia, Khimki by point differential too in the Quarter Finals on their debut in this European tournament.

Kuban has in point guard Nick Calathes, veteran Simas Jasaitis and the interior presence of the ex-NBA Derrick Brown the main weapons on offense for this team with other players like Jimmy Baron, Alex Maric and Mantas Kalnietis confining an excellent support for these players.

Going on a statistical stand point out, Calathes and Brown are in the top 5 on index rating and top 15 on most of the individual categories (points, rebounds, assits).

On the other side we will have Uxue Bilbao Basket a team who return to Eurocup after debuting last season on the Turkish Airlines Euroleague. The Spaniards already had participated two times in the Eurocup on 08-09 and 09-10.

In their campaign this year Bilbao only lost three games, two of them in the Last 16 round where they had to fight hard to cut the deficit and grab a place in the next phase in a very competitive group decided at the last game.

Semifinals were a pure demonstration of how experienced and talented this squad is clinching two great wins advancing to the final with a +32 point differential after both legs.

Bilbao is such a stacked squad with big names like the Greek duo Nikos Zisis and Kostas Vasileadis, Lamont Hamilton and his terrific presence on both sides of the court, the leadership of Alex Mumbru and (now) role players like Hervelle, Grimau and Lopez.

There are mainly 10 players in this roster that can contribute and be main weapons depending on the flow of the game, matchups and offensive needs.

This final will have a lot of good matchups but they key to this game will be how Zisis/Calathes, Vasileadis/Jasaitis and Hamilton/Brown will par and how can they contribute to their teams having to score but at the same time being very active on defense because of such talented players.

Curiosity will rise during the match when “2nd grade” point guards Mantas Kalnietis for Kuban and Raul Lopez for Bilbao define their roles trying to help their teams to win, playing in the shadow of the best matchups. If one of them can standout it will be very hard to stop because of the individual responsibilities at the defensive end that all the players will have.