08 October, 2019
04 October, 2020
14 Jasiel Rivero (BURG)
to read

Where we left off: Hereda San Pablo Burgos

BURGOS (Spain) - Hereda San Pablo Burgos take on Hapoel Bank Yahav Jerusalem in the only Quarter-Final which pits against each other two teams that had faced each other in the Regular Season (more on those two games further down).

Here's everything you need to refresh your memory on how the Spanish club got to this point:

What Did Burgos' Play Look Like Before the Hiatus?

  • To say that Burgos came ready to play in what was the first ever European campaign in the history of the club would be an understatement. The Castilian team had the 4th-highest offense in absolute terms, averaging 86.4 points per game.

  • Burgos' offensive rating at the end of the Regular Season was 118.2 points per 100 possessions which would have been the highest in the league were it not for their...opponent in the Quarter-Finals, Hapoel Jerusalem.

  • This remarkable offensive prowess was not the fruit of some insane level of shooting accuracy, because Burgos were fourth in 3-point field goal percentage (38.5 percent) and even lower, in eighth place, in 2-point field goal percentage (55.5 percent). That said, their effective field goal percentage was 55.8 percent, the third-highest in the league.

  • Two factors that further boosted Burgos' offensive output was their outstanding ability to score second-chance points, courtesy of their league-best offensive rebounding rate of 36.8 percent, and an excellent assist ratio of 19.7 (fifth best among the 16 teams that made the Play-Offs).

  • Vitor Benite led the team in scoring with 14.8 points per game and an excellent 46 percent three-point shooting average. Earl Clark was Burgos' second-leading scorer with 12.8 points, also adding 5.4 rebounds per game. Meanwhile the importance of having 'microwave' Thad McFadden coming off the bench and contributing 10 points and 3.3 assists per game cannot be underestimated.



What Had Burgos Achieved Up Until March?

Regular Season
Burgos lost three of their first five games in Group B but a home victory against, precisely, Hapoel Jerusalem, provided the spark they needed to climb to third place in the final standings, on an 8-6 record.

Burgos defeated Jerusalem 91-84 in that clash in Spain, as Vitor Benite poured in 26 points and Jasiel Rivero had a breakout night, collecting 19 points and 8 rebounds. In the reverse fixture in Israel, Jerusalem prevailed 96-91 despite Thad McFadden coming up with one of his best performances, with 20 points and 7 assists. It's worth noting that Benite sat out that game due to injury.

Round of 16
In what was their first ever playoff series in club history, Burgos were pitted against Dinamo Sassari without homecourt advantage, but they immediately snatched that away as they won Game 1 in Italy, 84-81.

Benite came up with the highest-scoring display of the Round of 16 that night, as he went 7 for 10 from three-point range and scored 30 points. In Game 2 in Burgos, the Spanish team finished off the series with a 95-80 win as Rivero collected a monster double-double of 17 points and 15 boards.

What Will Stay the Same? What's New?

Burgos would have liked to bring back more of the players that made up last year's core, but they have maintained some key pieces and, perhaps equally importantly, they found like-for-like replacements for the ones that departed.

Benite, Rivero and McFadden will once again play important minutes and be top contributors offensively and, as we saw above, all three had big games against Hapoel Jerusalem.

Ken Horton and Dejan Kravic have been brought in to replace the frontcourt duo of Earl Clark and Augusto Lima. Spanish international Xavi Rabaseda brings some much-needed corner three shooting and dogged defense at the small forward spot while Jordan Sakho, who played for BAXI Manresa last season, is a quality back up at center.

Perhaps the most crucial change however, and that upon which much of Burgos' fortunes rest this season, is the veteran point guard duo of Alex Renfroe and Omar Cook taking over from Ferran Bassas and Bruno Fitipaldo.

That tandem of the Spanish and the Uruguan international was instrumental in implementing the style of play of head coach Joan Peñarroya and it remains to be seen whether the American duo will be at least as successful in dictating the pace of game that Burgos thrive in.