08 October, 2019
04 October, 2020
9 Nicolas Brussino (ZARA)
to read

Two Spanish newcomers staring up at Olympus and more things to watch in the Semi-Finals

ATHENS (Greece) - Hereda San Pablo Burgos and Casademont Zaragoza, two Spanish clubs that entered the Basketball Champions League for the first time in 2019-20, will step out on the court of Nikos Galis OAKA in the Friday night Semi-Finals.

They are facing Dijon and Final 8 hosts AEK, respectively, with the French club looking to make a European competition final for the first time since 2004, when they were runners up in the FIBA EuroCup Challenge, and the Greek team hoping to repeat the success of 2018, when they lifted the BCL trophy at this same venue.

Hereda San Pablo Burgos vs JDA Dijon - 17:30 CEST (18:30 local time)

  • "Dijon were one of the big revelations of last season's French league," commented Burgos head coach Joan Penarroya. "Their two point guards (David Holston and Axel Julien) coincide for several minutes on the court and are the motor of the team."

  • Dijon have a 1-3 record against teams from Spain in the BCL and their sole win was against Montakit Fuenlabrada in January 2019. The French side lost both games they played against a Spanish team (Casademont Zaragoza) this season by an average margin of 23.5 points.

  • The only team that managed to beat Burgos twice in the 2019-20 BCL season was French, as Pau-Lacq-Orthez prevailed over the Spanish team during in both of their Regular Season encounters.

  • Dijon score 19.6 points off turnovers on average, the second-best in the league in this respect. Dijon are only team averaging more than 10 per game in the 2019-20 season, albeit they had fewer than 10 steals in both the Quarter-Final against Turk Telekom and in the Round of 16 clash with Nizhny Novgorod in mid-September.

  • By contrast, Dijon had at least 12 offensive rebounds in each of those two September games despite averaging a league-low 8 offensive boards per game in the 2019-20 Regular Season.

  • Burgos lead the league in made three-pointers, with 11.4 per game. The Spanish team hit 10 or more triples in each of their last nine BCL games, the longest streak of this kind in BCL history.

  • Dijon's Hans Vanwijn scored a BCL career-high 19 points the last time he played against Burgos, back in December 2019 when he was on Telenet Giants Antwerp.

  • Thad McFadden of Burgos has scored at least 10 points in 11 of his 14 BCL games coming off the bench; he has scored at least 11 points in each of his four previous games against a French team.

  • Omar Cook of Burgos is the all-time fourth-leading player in assists in the BCL (among players with at least five games in the competition) as he is averaging 7.3 assists per game.

AEK vs. Casademont Zaragoza - 20:30 CEST (21:30 local time)

  • "AEK is a great team, they have star players and a lot of talent. They are playing at home and they are the favorites," said Zaragoza head coach Diego Ocampo.

  • AEK will play their second Semi-Final in four BCL campaigns, once again facing a Spanish team: in 2018 the Athens yellow-blacks eliminated UCAM Murcia on their way to the Final, and ended up lifting the trophy.

  • Zaragoza are currently enjoying the longest winning streak in the BCL, as their Quarter-Final win against Iberostar Tenerife was the ninth in a row. The Spanish team were trailing at half-time in three of their last four games, including the most recent two.

  • AEK have an 8-2 record at home in the BCL postseason, a joint-high tally of wins alongside Iberostar Tenerife in this phase of the competition.

  • AEK have a 5-2 record against Spanish teams in the BCL but lost the most recent clash with a team from that country, 93-76 at Burgos in January 2020. That was incidentally AEK’s heaviest defeat in the competition.

  • Zaragoza have lost the only game they have played against a Greek team on the road, as they fell 93-78 at PAOK in November 2019.

  • AEK, who scored 90 or more points in each of their last three BCL games, have never scored that many points in four games in a row. he Greek team have the highest offensive output in the 2019-20 postseason, averaging 92 points per game in the Round of 16 and the Quarter-Finals.

  • Zaragoza lead the league in rebounding with 42.1 boards per game and they out-rebounded Tenerife 43 to 33 in the Quarter-Final.

  • AEK head coach Ilias Papatheodou has a 2-4 record against Spanish teams in the BCL; his team was leading at half-time in only one of those six games.

  • Keith Langford scored a BCL career-high 30 points the last time he played against a Spanish team at home, in AEK's win over Burgos in November 2019. The veteran shooting guard is the second-leading scorer in the 2019-20 BCL, averaging 19.5 points per game.

  • Zaragoza's Robin Benzing, who scored 17 points in the Quarter-Final, has yet to score more than 15 points in consecutive games in the competition.