After 102 games in 3 Conferences, the pairings for the Conference Final Fours are now set. All semi final games will be played on Wednesday 16th February 2005.
Conference West and Central
Semi-final 1: BC Boncourt (SUI) vs. Benetton Fribourg Olympic (SUI)
Semi-final 2: Albacomp (HUN) vs. Mlekarna Kunin (CZE)
The first semi-final features two Swiss teams in BC Boncourt and Benetton Fribourg. Boncourt, Swiss champions in 2004 are also leading the domestic league this season. Fribourg, who were beaten in the 2004 finals by Boncourt, are struggling in 6th position.
|Alonzo Richmond - BC Boncourt|
Both teams finished with 3-3 records in the preliminary round of the FIBA Europe Cup and have already met each other once in the Swiss league. On that occasion, Boncourt were the victors, 110-92.
Albacomp take on Mlekarna Kunin in the second semi-final. Albacomp have dropped just one game so far in the competition and will be the favourites to beat Mlekarna Kunin.
Semi-final 1: Dynamo Moscow Region (RUS) vs. EURAS Ekaterinburg (RUS)
Semi-final 2: Lokomotiv Rostov (RUS) vs. BC Siauliai (LTU)
Conference North is dominated by Russian clubs, 3 of which will play in the Final Four.
Dynamo Moscow Region will be the favourites to return to the Pan European Final Four, a feat they achieved last season. The team has since been totally overhauled and the only remaining player is American forward Johnny Taylor.
New signings include international players such as Valery Daineko, Nikita Morgunov and Sandis Buskevics as well as US guard Stevin Smith.
Dynamo are flying high in the Russian Superleague in 5th position while Final Four opponents EURAS have struggled and won only 2 games this season. The two teams have met already twice domestically, Dnyamo winning on both occasions. The second of those games was a 96-98 overtime win for Dynamo, indicating that EURAS’ will have their chances of victory.
In the second match-up, Lokomotiv Rostov take on Lithuanian side BC Siauliai. As with Dynamo, Lokomotiv are having a good season in the Superleague and currently lie in 4th position.
|Dynamo's Johnny Taylor|
Lokomotiv will have a difficult task stopping Siauliai from putting the ball in the basket. The Lithuanians are averaging a whopping 102 ppg in the FIBA Europe Cup, and lead all teams in this category. In addition, Siauliai are shooting 55% from the field, 2nd among all teams.
Semi-final 1: Keravnos Keo (CYP) vs. Banvit BC (TUR)
Semi-final 2: Apollon Limassol (CYP) vs. CSU Asesoft Ploieisti (ROM)
The first semi-final will be between Keravnos Keo Banvit BC. Keravnos are undefeated so far in the competition and defeated fellow Cypriot side Intercollege in the play-offs.
Banvit have overcome a poor domestic league season to advance to the Conference Final Four in the FIBA Europe Cup. An 89-72 win over Apoel Nicosia in the first game play-offs was enough to see them advance, despite a loss in the away leg.
Apollon Limassol take on Asesoft Ploieisti in the second semi-final.
Apollon have found life difficult so far in the FIBA Europe Cup. After recording a 1-3 record in the preliminary round, they stepped up their game to beat Romanian team Dinamo Erbasu in the play-offs.
Apollon will rely on the scoring of guard/forward William Knight, whose 25.8 ppg leads all players in the competition.
Asesoft Ploieisti had to overcome a 17-point deficit in the second game of their play-off match-up with Bulgarian side Spartak Euroins. They managed handily, winning the game 82-52 and comfortably advancing to the Final Four.
Pan European Play-Offs
A total of 8 teams will qualify for the Pan European Play-Offs. The 2 finalists from Conferences North and South, along with all 4 teams from Conference West & Central.
The format of the play-offs will be home and away games and the 4 winners will qualify to the Pan European Final Four.