Everything you need to know ahead of Wednesday's Quarter-Finals
NIZHNY NOVGOROD (Russia) - The time has finally arrived for the big event that will wrap up the 2020-21 Basketball Champions League season, the Final 8 in Nizhny Novgorod.
The season-ending tournament tips off on Wednesday and the opening-day slate includes the first two of the Quarter-Finals, with the hosts going up against Casademont Zaragoza in the early clash and ERA Nymburk facing Pinar Karsiyaka in the second.
Here's a closer look at some interesting facts and figures on the Wednesday games:
Nizhny Novgorod vs. Casademont Zaragoza -- 18:00 CEST (19:00 local time)
- Nizhny have not been in action since April 25th, when they fell 85-84 at powerhouse CSKA Moscow in the VTB United league, despite 19 points from Anton Astapkovich and 13 from Ivan Strebkov.
- Zaragoza meanwhile are coming off a 98-89 loss to Liga Endesa leaders Real Madrid on Sunday, despite 23 points from Elias Harris.
- Nymburk on the other hand are coming off a 93-69 win at Usti nad Labem in the Czech league Play-Offs, as captain Vojtech Hruban had 16 points to lead six Nymburk players in double digits.
- Nizhny and Zaragoza are the only pair in the Quarter-Finals to have faced each other earlier this season. Zaragoza won both clashes in the Regular season, 78-75 at home in November and 98-92 after overtime in Russia, in January.
- Nizhny, who lost their last two games in the Play-Offs, have not lost three consecutive games at any point during this BCL season. The Final 8 hosts lost their previous home game, 97-87 to SIG Strasbourg on the penultimate gameday of the Play-Offs, but they have not lost back-to-back home games in the competition since October 2018, their first ever home games in the BCL.
- Zaragoza, who lost 98-78 at Nymburk in their final game in the Play-Offs, have only lost back-to-back games in the BCL at the 2020 Final 8 in Athens, when they fell to AEK in the Semi-Finals and then to JDA Dijon in the 3rd-place game.
- Zaragoza lost their last two road games in the BCL by a margin of 20 or more points. They didn't score more than 80 points in either of those two losses, but that is something that happened only once in their previous eight road games.
- Nizhny are joint league-leaders in made three-pointers, averaging 11.3 made triples per game. They are also the third-best team on the other side of court, defending the three-point line, as they only give up 7.3 triples per game.
- Zaragoza are one of only four teams to force 15 or more turnovers per game (15.1) and they lead the league in points off turnovers, with 19.7 per game.
- Nizhny's Kasey Shepherd has scored 204 points off the bench, 89 more than any other player this season. the Nizhny point guard started only one game and it was precisely the season-opener against Zaragoza. He had 13 points and 4 assists in that game.
- Zaragoza's Robin Benzing scored 23 points and grabbed six rebounds when the two teams met in Nizhny in January, and that is so far his only game with 20 or more points and 5 or more rebounds in the competition.
ERA Nymburk vs. Pinar Karsiyaka -- 20:30 CEST (21:30 local time)
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- Nymburk are coming off a 93-69 win at Usti nad Labem in the Czech league Play-Offs, as captain Vojtech Hruban had 16 points to lead six Nymburk players in double digits.
- Karsiyaka are coming off a 101-61 rout of Ormanspor on the road in Turkish BSL league action on Saturday, behind 16 points and 6 rebounds from Metecan Birsen.
- Nymburk have won five of their last six games against teams from Turkey, but lost the most recent one. They fell 103-97 to Tofas Bursa in January and that was only one of the two BCL games they gave up 100 points in their five-year history in the competition.
- If they win on Wednesday, Nymburk will become only the third team to reach 50 wins in the BCL within the first five years of the competition. The only other teams to have reached that milestone are Lenovo Tenerife, with 65 victories, and AEK with 58.
- Nymburk lead the league in scoring, averaging 89.8 points per game. The Czech side have scored 90 or more points in 10 different games this season, a feat they had achieved in a total of 12 games over their previous four seasons. If they score 90 or more points also on Wednesday, they will become the first team to post 11 such games in a single BCL season.
- Karsiyaka defeated Happy Casa Brindisi 107-85 in their last game of the Play-Offs and that was their first ever time ever scoring a century in a BCL game. Karsiyaka, who also played in the league in 2016-17 and 2017-18, have won all nine BCL games in which they scored 85 or more points.
- Karsiyaka and Nymburk are the two teams that lead the league in drawn fouls, with 22.5 and 22.3 per game, respectively. Karsiyaka also lead the league in made free-throws, with 19.2 per game.
- Nymburk’s Petr Benda, Vojtech Hruban and Martin Kriz (72) are the only players to have played more than 70 BCL games with one team. Benda has 73 games, Hruban and Kriz have 72 each. Hruban is the all-time leading scorer in the BCL, with 902 career points.
- Karsiyaka’s Raymar Morgan has scored in double digits in each of his 12 BCL games, more than any other player. He leads the league in scoring with 219 total points. Interestingly, he has posted only one double-double this season.