The quarter-finals of the Alpe Adria Cup are going to a strong finish. Who will be able to reverse the loss from the first duel and who will have enough points difference? Only the top 4 teams will play the AAC Final Four!
Pardubice are in the best position, they travel to Spišská Nová Ves with a 14-point lead (73:59) and are thus in the best position to repeat their participation in the Final Four after a year. “Every game starts 0:0, we don’t even think about the fact that we have a 14-point lead. We all know that we are going to have a very tough game in Slovakia, and after a long road trip. Spišská Nová Ves is first in the Slovak league, so it will be a tough game. Rebounding will be the key to success in the rematch. Getting to the Final Four of the Alpe Adria Cup is one of our goals this season. We will do our best to make it happen,” said Pardubice pivot Jan Štěrba.
A repeat of last year’s semi-final put the Spišskí Rytieri in a difficult position, but the determination to succeed is there in the team. “We have a tough game against Pardubice on Wednesday, and if we want to succeed, we have to win by at least 15 points. It’s a big difference, but it’s not impossible. We will have to add extra motivation and combativeness to the game. It will be a real playoff game,” said player of Spišskí Rytieri Tomáš Mrviš.
Dabrowa Górnicza has a 7-point lead (93:86), but Timisoara will definitely not go down without a fight. The wild card holder has a chance to continue his successful debut in the AAC. “The Polish team is the favourite and when I say that I weigh several factors, such as the budget, the strength of the domestic championship, the differences in individual player value. I think that in Poland we did not get a good result. We could have played even better, but the seven-point difference gives us some hope. However, if we play like we did in the first game, we have no chance of coming back. We need to play much better, 20 minutes at a high level is not enough, we need 40 good minutes,” said head coach Dragan Petričević.
One of the surprises of this year – Šibenka – is also closer to promotion. In its favour is also a 7-point lead (77:70) from the first game. “Already advancing to the quarter-finals is a great achievement, we are the only team from Croatia left in the competition. We will try to reach the Final Four. We are going to Komárno weakened, we will miss Paić and Pleadin. The team is motivated to return home with a place in the Final Four of the Alpe Adria Cup,” revealed Šibenik coach Damir Milačić.
Komárno would like to be among the top four on their debut. “We are waiting for the second game, in which a lot is at stake. We didn’t manage to win the first one in Svit, now we have a second chance at home against Šibenka. Losing by 7 points away may look like a good result, but after the way that game went I think we could have been in a better position before the rematch. It is specific to play such matches, we have to be concentrated for the whole 40 minutes, because more or less no decision will be made in any situation,” thinks player of Komárno Martin Danielič.
The most evenly matched battle for the semi-finals is expected to be between Vienna and Kolín. After the first game it’s only by one basket (74:72). “In the first game we didn’t keep our intensity and good rhythm for 40 minutes. We need to convert that at home and we are very motivated and all our focus is on this game now and we want to go to the AAC Final Four,“ stated the coach of Vienna Aramis Naglić.
Schedule of the 2st matches of the quarter-finals of the Alpe Adria Cup (Wednesday 8 February):