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  • Writer's picturemarisnoviks

History will be made: Royal Liège Basket to face CSO Voluntari

Updated: Apr 9

Royal Liège Basket (5-4) will face CSO Voluntari (7-2) in the first semifinal on Tuesday, April 9, at the Sparekassen Danmark Basketball center in Aarhus, Denmark. Tipoff at 16:00.

Quick facts: Royal Liège Basket finished fourth in the Group B with a 4-3 record. Alex Zampier`s men won the playoff series against top seeded Uniclub Casino Juventus, 182-180, and advanced to their first Final Four.

CSO Voluntari finished second in the Group B with a 6-1 record. Ainars Bagatskis men won the playoff series against Tartu Ulikool Maks&Moorits, 168-152, and advanced to their first Final Four.

Series history: CSO Voluntari defeated Royal Liège Basket, 89-68, on November 15, 2023, at Bucharest and lead the series 1-0.

What`s at stake

Royal Liège Basket may advance to its first ENBL title game and its first European final.

CSO Voluntari may advance to its first ENBL title game and its first European final.

Key matchup: point guards

Angel Rodriguez averages 11.7 points, 7.2 assists, 2.7 rebounds and 1.3 steals for Liège Basket.

Kwamain Mitchell averages 9.0 points, 4.4 assists and 1.6 assists for CSO Voluntari, while Lucas Tohatan has 6.2 points, 3.3 assists and 0.9 steals.

Player statistics

EJ Anosike has 17.8 points for Liège Basket, followed by Olivier Troisfontaines, Jamelle Hagins (14.9 points for both) and Angel Rodriguez with 11.7 points.

Rodriguez is the best passer with 7.2 dimes per game.

Kevin Tumba is the best rebounder with 9.0 boards.

He averages 1.6 blocks per game and scores 7.6 points too.

Olivier Troisfontaines is a scoring ace as he shoots 42.6% from the three point line (20/47).

Trevon Allen is the first in scoring for CSO Voluntari with 16.4 points, 4.2 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game.

KeyShawn Feazell is the best rebounder with 6.9 boards and 14.0 points.

Allen has been very effective from the three point line – 26/62 or 41.9%.

Team statistics

Liège Basket are first in rebounds with 39.3 boards per game.

They also have the most rebounds on offense – if not counting the Newcastle Eagles – with 12.8 opportunities to score second chance points.

Their aggressiveness in the paint is second to none as they make 18.6 free throws per game.

They share the ball well and are second in assists among Final Four participants with 21.4 dimes per game, trailing only to Bakken Bears Aarhus.

CSO Voluntari are first among the Final Four participants in three pointers made – with 9.6 triples per game.

Bucharest club trails in two pointers made – with 20.9 field goals per game.

CSO Voluntari have scored 84.9 points on average, trailing to Šiauliai (92.4), Liège Basket (89.6) and Bakken Bears (88.6).

Head coaches

Alex Zampier was a professional player until 2013. He played in the USA, Argentina and Canada. Zampier worked at non-coaching roles for Tampa Bay Rays (Major League Baseball) and San Antonio Spurs. He worked as a player development coach for Utah Jazz (2017-2018), Phoenix Suns (2018-2019) and Detroit Pistons (2019-2022). Zampier is in his first season as a head coach. College wise, he played for Yale (2006-2010) and became the Bulldogs all time leader with 167 career steals. Finished third in the Ivy League in scoring in his senior year with 17.4 points.

Ainars Bagatskis played professionally until 2006. He was a player-coach at Barons Rīga (2005-2006). Bagatskis has coached in Latvia, Lithuania, Russia, Georgia, Ukraine, Turkey, Israel, Germany and Romania. He was the head coach of Latvia (2010-2017) and Ukraine (2019-2023). Bagatskis won Israeli Cup with Maccabi Tel Aviv (2017), two Ukraine Superleague titles with Budivelnyk Kyiv (2013, 2014) and one LKL title with Žalgiris Kaunas (2006). He has coached at 74 Euroleague games. Bagatskis was an assistant coach to David Blatt at Darussafaka Istanbul.

SCHEDULE (local time only)

Tuesday, April 9

16:00 Liège Basket – CSO Voluntari

19:00 Šiauliai – Bakken Bears

Wednesday, April 10

16:00 Bronze medal game

Live stats TBA

19:00 Final

Live stats TBA

21:00 Award ceremony

Final Four history

Wloclawek 2022: Anwil Wloclawek, Šiauliai, Basket Brno, Tartu University

Ostrów Wielkopolski 2023: BM Stal Ostrów, BC Wolves, Start Lublin, King Szczecin

Final Four referees


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