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  • Writer's picturemarisnoviks

Time to shine: Voluntari and Bakken Bears will play for gold

CSO Voluntari (8-2) will face Bakken Bears (8-2) in the 2024 ENBL final on Wednesday, April 10, at the Sparekassen Danmark Basketball center in Aarhus, Denmark. Tipoff at 19:00. Bronze medal game between Liège Basket and Šiauliai will start at 16:00.

Quick facts: Kodi Justice set a new Final Four record and scored 28 points in a 80-79 CSO Voluntari win against Liège Basket in the first semifinal of the 2024 Final Four. Angel Rodriguez also set a new Final Four record and finished with 14 assists.

Bakken Bears won the semifinal duel against Šiauliai, 90-77, ending a 6-0 winning streak for the Yellow Devils, and advanced to their first European final. Malik Parsons scored 13 of his 19 points in the first quarter.

Series history: Voluntari will face Bakken Bears for the first time in European competitions.

Romanian club finished second in Group B and won the playoff series against Tartu University, 168-152.

Danish club finished second in Group A and won the playoff series against Newcastle Eagles, 188-179.

What`s at stake

Voluntari reached their first Final Four and will play for the first European title.

Bakken Bears advanced to their first final and will play their first European title game.

Aarhus club reached semifinals of the FIBA Europe Cup in 2018, 2020 and 2022.

Team statistics

CSO Voluntari defeated Royal Liège Basket twice – in regular season, 89-68, and in the semifinal.

Three teams from Group B – Šiauliai, Voluntari and Liège Basket – advanced to the Final Four.

Šiauliai defeated Royal Liège Basket, 97-74, on February 6.

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

Romanian club started the semifinal with 0/8 shooting from the three point and went 10/24 the rest of the way.

Bakken Bears lead all Final 4 teams in assists per game – with 21.4 dimes on average.

Aarhus players are first in defensive rebounds per game – with 27.9 boards on average.

The Bears are the best finishers inside the three point line – with 25.2 two point field goals made.

Head coaches

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.

Anders Sommer has won seven titles with the Bakken Bears, including four Danish championships (2020-2023) and three Danish Cups (2020-2021, 2023). Sommer joined the Aarhus club in November 2019 and served as an assistant coach until June 2021. He won the 2013 European Championship for U16 Men in division B as an assistant coach for Denmark.

Final Four records

Most points scored

Kodi Justice 28, Liège 79-80 Voluntari, April 9, 2024

Most rebounds

Benas Griciūnas 12, Lublin 88-62 King, April 12, 2023

Most assists

Angel Rodriguez 14, Liège 79-80 Voluntari, April 9, 2024

Most steals

Skyler Bowlin 4, Šiauliai 77-90 Bakken Bears, April 9, 2024

Most blocks

Aigars Šķēle 4, Ostrow 86-74 Lublin, April 11, 2023

Most three pointers made

Laszlo Polyak 5/8, Liège 79-80 Voluntari, April 9, 2024

Most three pointers for team

Tartu Ulikool 15/46, Anwil 80-74 Tartu, April 6, 2022

SCHEDULE (local time only)

Tuesday, April 9

Liège Basket 79-80 CSO Voluntari

Šiauliai 77-90 Bakken Bears

Wednesday, April 10

16:00 Liège Basket – Šiauliai

19:00 CSO Voluntari – Bakken Bears

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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