BC Wolves will host Budivelnyk Kyiv in the first quarter-finals game on Saturday, March 11, at Alytus. The second game is scheduled on March 18, at the Pala Coccia di Veroli in central Italy.
Quick facts: Budivelnyk Kyiv finished second in Group A after posting five wins in six games. BC Wolves entered the competition in January 2023 to post a 5-2 record and to secure the third place in Group B in a three way tie with Stal Ostrow and Ironi Ness Ziona.
First opponent in the Final Four: the best team of pair #2 will face the winner of duel between King Szczecin and KB Sigal Prishtina.
What`s at stake
BC Wolves may become the second team from Lithuania in the Final Four – last year, Šiauliai and head coach Antanas Sireika went all the way to final. Budivelnyk Kyiv may become the first team from Ukraine in the Final Four.
Yannick Murry recently took the coaching reins at Budivelnyk Kyiv, replacing his former boss Valeriy Plekhanov. Murry was born in Houston – the energy capital of the world – and has played for Texas Southern Tigers in Division One.
Last time out
Budivelnyk Kyiv won the first FIBA Europe Cup quarter-finals game against Cholet, 73-72, on Tuesday, March 7. Kalev/Cramo a day before won the home clash against Bamberg, 80-77. The Kyivites will travel to France to play there on March 14.
The Wolves are 15-6 at the Betsafe LKL. Rimas Kurtinaitis team recently added American forward Rashard Kelly. He played the first half of the season at Australia`s NBL league side “Jack Jumpers” from Tasmania island. The Wolves won the road game at Prienai, 88-78, on March 5.
A special game on a special day
March 11 is a special day in the history of Lithuania as it is known as The Day of Restoration of Independence, thanks to Independence Declaration on March 11, 1990.
The president of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev, declared an economic blockade against Lithuania followed by armed attacks early next year until the Baltic States regained independence on August 1991.
The national anthems will be played before the game.
Jerai Grant from Budivelnyk Kyiv was the fourth best scorer of the regular season – he averaged 18.0 points per game.
Archie Goodwin from Budivelnyk occupies the seventh place in the sharpshooters list with 16.4 points per game.
Ahmad Caver from BC Wolves is the fifth best scorer – he averaged 17.3 points.
Eric Buckner from BC Wolves ties the third place in rebounds – he averaged 7.8 boards per game.
Vyacheslav Bobrov from Budivelnyk is the ninth in the rebounders list as he averaged 7.2 boards.
Archie Goodwin has averaged 5.0 assists to enter the Top 10 in this category.
Goodwin is also a top defender – he ties the fourth place in steals made (2.2) together with a teammate Bogdan Bliznyuk.
Jerai Grant is a Top 3 player in two point field goals percentage – he made 64.3 percent of attempts.
Archie Goodwin is the fifth in three point field goals percentage – he made 53.5 percent of attempts from the deep.
Kristupas Žemaitis from BC Wolves ties the seventh place in three point shooting accuracy with 52.0 percent of attempts made.
Jerai Grant is in the third place in efficiency per game – he averaged 20.8 EFF.
Eigirdas Žukauskas has the tenth best efficiency – he averaged 15.8 EFF per game.
The Wolves have averaged 81.7 points per game – the Builders have averaged 78.7 points per game.
The Wolves are among the top teams in rebounding, as they average 33.7 boards. Budivelnyk is on the same level with 33.8 rebounds per game.
The Wolves have averaged 19.0 assists per game. The Builders do not share the ball that often as they average 16.0 assists for the 14th place in the standings.
BC Wolwes is the second best team in steals made – they average 9.3 steals per game compared to 8.3 steals for Budivelnyk.