There have been many examples this year of home-court advantage not being the boost it used to be. Many sports have been affected by a lack of crowds and the strange atmosphere related to how the sporting world deals with the pandemic.
However, in the EuroCup Semi-Final stage, the hosts have got off to a flying start. In a best-of-three scenario, this is all you can ask for, and the ties could be over this week. Of course, there are big moments still to unfold, and if you love betting on European basketball, you will have more than enough excitement to look out for this week.
The Tuesday night EuroCup scores were:
- AS Monaco 82 – 77 Herbalife Gran Canaria
- Virtus Segafredo Bologna 80 – 76 UNICS Kazan
There were two home wins, which cranks up the pressure for the return games, which are scheduled to take place on Friday night.
The Friday 9th April games in the EuroCup are:
- Herbalife Gran Canaria v AS Monaco
- UNICS Kazan v Virtus Segafredo Bologna
Herbalife need to be inspired by a thrilling second half display
Herbalife Gran Canaria looked dead and buried at half-time in Monaco on Tuesday night. The score of 44-26 looked to be too daunting a task to expect any turnaround, but the Spanish side came flying out of the blocks in the third quarter.
The scoring run of 1-15 shocked Monaco, and it breathed fresh life into Gran Canaria. Ultimately, it wasn’t enough, and the French side held on for victory, but the daring nature of their play must give Gran Canaria hope for the second game in the series.
This is do-or-die. A failure to win at home against Monaco will see Gran Canaria’s EuroCup exploits come to an end this season.
UNICS need to prevent a EuroCup record
The home win for Bologna gives them a healthy advantage heading into Game 2 in this tie, but it also leaves the Italians on the brink of history. That victory was their 20th consecutive win in the EuroCup. This is a feat that has been claimed by Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar, twice, but that elusive 21st win in a row has yet to be claimed.
If it is, Virtus are in the EuroCup final. If it isn’t, UNICS Kazan live to fight another day, and we will have a winner takes all tie next week. UNICS will have reasons to think they can punish their opponents.
The first game was close until late on, with Milos Teodosic inspiring Virtus with 11 points and a few assists in the final six minutes. It is a task that is easier said than done, but if UNICS can keep Teodosic quiet, they stand a chance of causing a major upset this week.
If we go to Game 3 in either tie, mark Wednesday 14th April in your calendar.