Keith Langford's 'interesting Sunday' and a few more things to watch in the big Final
ATHENS (Greece) - Newcomers Hereda San Pablo Burgos and Final 8 hosts AEK crossed paths early in the 2019-20 season and after all the twists and turns of this truly unprecedented year, the roads of the young Spanish upstarts and the storied Greek club intertwine on the biggest stage.
Their Sunday meeting will be their third and will determine which club will be the only 2019-20 champion of a pan-European competition. Let's have a look at some things to watch in the most extraordinary Final so far in BCL history.
- Keith Langford scored a BCL career-high 30 points in AEK's win over Burgos on Gameday 5. Langford has so far scored 309 points this season, the joint-fifth best tally for a player in a single season. "That game was a long time ago, both teams are in a different position now," the veteran shooting guard commented. "Last year I had to do that because the game was going that way, so I had to take the ball and take over, but our team is built a little bit different now. It's going to be a totally different game, Burgos has been playing great and they had two really, really good performances here. It's sure going to be an interesting Sunday. I have won every possible individual accolade in Europe and while I am very pleased about this, I want the trophy on Sunday."
- Vitor Benite of Burgos is the only player to have scored 25 or more points in multiple postseason games this season, including in the Semi-Final against JDA Dijon.
- Ken Horton of Burgos had 19 points and 10 rebounds in the Semi-Final, becoming the first player to register a double-double of the bench in a BCL championship tournament. "I have won some national league championships in my career but I have never won a European competition, so this would mean a lot to me personally, and I know that for the city of Burgos and the club it would also mean a lot," Horton said prior to the Final.
- Burgos have become the second Spanish club to reach the Final after Iberostar Tenerife, who won the title in 2017 but lost against Segafredo Virtus Bologna in 2019.
- AEK are the only Greek team to have ever reached the final, lifting the trophy in 2018, and will aim to become the first team to be crowned champions twice.
- Two of the previous three BCL Champions won the title at their homecourt (Iberostar Tenerife in 2017, AEK in 2018).
- In each of the previous three BCL Finals, the team leading at the end of the first quarter was the team that eventually were crowned champions. Meanwhile the eventual champion led wire to wire in the last two Finals.
- AEK and Burgos were in the same Regular Season group, with each team winning their respective home game. AEK suffered their heaviest defeat in the competition, 93-76, on their trip to Burgos.
- Burgos are currently riding a five-game winning streak in the BCL, their longest in the competition. The Spanish team have lost five of their eight road games, and five of those eight games were decided by a margin of five or fewer points.
- Burgos aim to become the second team in a row to be crowned BCL champions in their first campaign in the competition, after Virtus Bologna in 2019.
- AEK scored 90 or more points in each of their four postseason games in this season after reaching the 90-point mark in only two of their previous 14 postseason games. The Greeks are the only team to have scored a century in a BCL Final, when they defeated Monaco 100-94 in the 2018 title game.
- The two Finalists have been the best offensive teams in the postseason, as AEK are averaging 93.8 points per game and Burgos are averaging 88 points per game. They are also among the four teams to average more than 10 made three-pointers per game this season. Burgos leads the league in that respect with 11.4 and AEK is fourth with 10.3.
- Thanks to their improved offensive output in the postseason, Burgos average 1.19 points per possession and AEK 1.15 per possession, first and fourth in that aspect, respectively.
- AEK’s Yanick Moreira and Dejan Kravic of Burgos are the two players in the 2020 Final that already have a BCL title under their belt, as they were teammates on Virtus Bologna in 2018-19. Whoever of the two wins on Sunday will join Kevin Punter as the only two-time champions in BCL history.