Every year the Domestic Leagues in Europe take a break from their regular league schedules to hold their National Cup games. This season they mostly fall during this week, Feb. 4 – Feb. 10, some start earlier or last longer, but the bulk are happening now. The competition for the Cups typically last a few days, while some take longer, all depending on the number of teams involved. In Croatia they began the “Final Four” on Wednesday and will hold the Final Thursday, while in Italy the eight teams began Wednesday and will finish with the Finals on Sunday, Feb. 10. Here’s a rundown of some of the competitions currently underway and some that will be starting soon.
They’ve been playing qualifying rounds since the beginning of the Ethias League schedule and have played the quarterfinals and have one game remaining in the semi-finals. The clubs involved in the quarterfinals play a two-game home/away series with the point differential of the two games combined being used to determine who advances.
Houthalen – Okapi Aalstar, 83:100, 97:100. Okapi Aalstar qualified for semi-finals.
Liege BC – Telenet BC Oostende, 83:93, 68:84. Telenet BC Oostende moves on to semi-finals.
Gembo Borgerhout – Belfius Mons-Hainaut, 94:90, 85:100. Belfius Mons-Hainaut advances to semis.
VOO Verviers-Pepinster – Stella Artois Leuven Bears, 92:77, 102:100. VOO Verviers-Pepinster earns a place in the semi-finals.
Belfius Mons-Hainaut – Telenet BC Oostende 66:78, 73:82. Telenet BC Oostende advances to the finals.
Okapi Aalstar – VOO Verviers-Pepinster, 118:69, Game 2 – March 5, 2013.
Croatian Cup – “Final four Kupa Krešimira Ćosića”:
The Croatian Cup got underway on Wed., Feb. 6th with Cedevita Zagreb taking down KK Split, 80:89 and Cibona Zagreb defeating Zadar, 100:67. The two Zagreb clubs will meet in the finals on Thursday in Zagreb to determine the Croatian Cup winner.
In the first game, Cedevita Zagreb held off a determined KK Split club to pick up a spot in the Cup championship with an 80:89 win. Cedevita got out to an early seven point margin with a 17:24 first quarter score and gave up a point in the second to led 41:47 at the half. In the third Cedevita added eight to their margin on a 16:24 third frame score to head into the final 10 up 57:71. Split cut the margin by five points with a 23:18 final quarter tally, but the win belonged to Cedevita 80:89.
Miro Bilan was game-high for Cedevita with 19 points. Bracey Wright added 17 points, Predrag Suput contributed 15.
Filip Kraljevic led Split with 16 points, Filip Kruslin added 13 and Srdan Subotic dropped in 12.
In the second game Cibona Zagreb dominated Zadar with a 100:67 victory to earn the right to face in-town rivals Cedevita for the Cup. Zadar led after the first 10, 17:20, but then Cibona took control and won each of the last three quarters by at least 10 points with the margin in the third reaching 16 points, 28:12.
Cibona’s Andrew Zizic led everyone with 22 points, Jerel Blassingame added 20 points and 8 assists.
Zadar’s Ante Delas paced the club with 9 points and Marko Ramljak added 8 points.
Czech Republic Cup – “Final 8”:
The Czech Republic Cup “Final 8” got underway on Wed., with four quarterfinal games, there will be two semifinal contests on Thursday with the Finals and consolation game being held on Friday, Feb. 8. The first through sixth rounds of competition taking place from September, 2012 through the final qualification round being held in January, 2013.
BK Condord Liberec – BK JIP Pardubice, 67:107
BK JIP Pardubice opened the Final 8 with a massive 40-point rout of host BK Condors Liberec. The Condors actually held a six-point, 24:18, lead after the first quarter, but a 14:37 second quarter sealed the fate of the club from Liberec. Pardubice cruised into the semi-finals with a final 14:31 quarter.
BK Prostejov – BA Sparta, 96:85
BK Prostejov earned the right to square off against Pardubice in the semi-finals with an 11-point win over BA Sparta. Sparta held a one-point lead after the first, 18:19, but Prostejov dominated the next two quarters to head into the final frame up 76:58. Sparta was able to cut the advantage down to 11 with a 20:27 final 10, but it was too little, too late to take the win from the hosts.
NH Ostrava – BK Decin, 84:77
NH Ostrava used an eight-point advantage in the second quarter to earn a spot in the semis against Nymburk. After the first frame Decin held a one-point advantage 20:21, but Ostrava got out by seven with an 18:10 second quarter. The clubs battled to a 46:46 second half score, giving Ostrava the seven point win.
CEZ Basketball Nymburk – BC Unikol Cologne, 101:68
CEZ Basketball Nymburk earned a date with NH Ostrava in the Czech Republic Cup with a 33-point beat down of BC Unikol Cologne Wednesday. The hosts opened with a 19:15 first quarter, but blew the game open with a 38:17 tally in the second 10. They added eight more to the margin in the second half, but the damage had already been done.
Greek Cup: They held the semi-finals of the Greek Cup on December 22nd, 2012, with the finals to be played on Saturday, Feb. 10th. It’s no surprise that the Greek powerhouses, Olympiacos and Panathiniakos will face off in Athens on Sunday. The Greek Cup was first contested in the 1975-76 season with Olympiacos defeating AEK Athens, 81:69. Since then Panathinaikos has won the Greek Cup 13 times and were runners-up five times, Olympiacos has won the Cup nine times and were runners up seven times. Not far behind is Aris with eight Cup wins and four second-place finishes. The others that have hoisted the Cup include AEK Athens (3 wins, 7 times runners-up); PAOK (3 wins, 4 times runners-up); Panionios (1 win, 2 times runners-up).
In the semi-finals Kavala fell to Olympiacos, 55:87 and Panathinaikos defeated KAO Dramas, 66:56.
Israel Cup – “State Cup”:
Since the 1955/56 basketball season the Israel Basketball Association has held the Israel “State Cup”, with the exceptions of the 1956/57, 1959/60, 1066/67, 1967/68, 1973/74 seasons when the Cup was cancelled due to war-time conditions. In the years that the Cup has been held, Maccabi Tel Aviv has won the competition 39 times. They held the semi-finals of the 2012/13 edition of the State Cup on Feb. 5 with Maccabi Ashdod losing a tight contest with Maccabi Electra, 80:85 and Hapoel Migdal Jerusalem getting bounced by Maccabi Haifa, 61:80.
The finals will be held on Thursday, Feb. 7 between Maccabi Tel Aviv and Maccabi Haifa. Maccabi Haifa has never won the Cup, contrasted by Maccabi Tel Aviv’s 39 Cup wins.
Italian Cup – “BEKO Final Eight”:
The Italian Cup competition begins Thursday with quarterfinals match ups on Thursday and Friday, semi-finals on Saturday and the finals on Sunday, Feb. 10. Thursday’s quarterfinals include Mapooro Cantu vs. Acea Roma and Cimberio Varese vs. EA7 Emporio Armani Milan; while Friday will have Banco Di Sardegna Sassari vs. Enel Brindisi and Montepaschi Siena vs. Trenkwalder Reggio Emilia.
Virtus Bologna and Pallacanestro Treviso have won the Italian Cup eight times, with Bologna finishing as runner-up six times.
Poland Cup – “Intermarche Basket Cup”:
Play in the Poland Cup began in November, with early preliminary rounds leading up to the quarterfinals that were held on Wednesday, Feb. 6. The semi-finals will take place on Saturday, Feb. 9, with the finals being contested on Sunday, Feb. 10.
Anwil Włocławek – Trefl Sopot, 72:79
Stelmet Zielona Góra – Asseco Prokom Gdynia, 74:83
Jezioro Tarnobrzeg – PGE Turów Zgorzelec, 79:88
Semi-Finals (Feb. 9 – Koszalin):
PGE Turów Zgorzelec – Trefl Sopot
AZS Koszalin – Asseco Prokom Gdynia
Finals (Feb. 10 – Koszalin)
Serbian Cup – “Kup Radivoja Koraca”:
The Serbian Cup begins Thursday, Feb. 7, with two quarterfinal games, followed by two more on Friday, Feb. 8. The semi-finals will be Saturday, Feb. 9, with the finals on Sunday, Feb. 10.
Mega Vizura vs. Vrsac
Partizan mt:s Belgrade vs. Sloboda
Radnicki vs. Metalac
Crvena Zvezda Telekom vs. Vojvodina
Slovenian Cup – “F8 Pokal Spar”:
The Slovenian Cup begins Thursday, Feb. 7, with two quarterfinal games, followed by two more on Friday, Feb. 8. The semi-finals will be Saturday, Feb. 9, with the finals on Sunday, Feb. 10.
Plama Plur vs. Krka
Helios Domžale vs. Splošna plovba Portorož
Union Olimpija vs. Šenčur Gorenjska
Tajfun vs. Maribor Messer
Spainish Cup – “Copa del Rey”:
In Spain they begin competition on Thursday, Feb. 7 with two games: Real Madrid will match-up with FC Barcelona Regal and Caja Laboral will take on CAI Zaragoza. The competition will continue on Friday with Valencia Basket against Assefa Estudiantes and Herbalife Gran Canarias squaring off against Uxue Bilbao Basket. The winners of the quarterfinals will meet in the semi finals on Saturday, Feb. 9th, with the Finals taking place on Sunday, Feb. 10.
Turkish Cup – “Spor Toto Turkiye Kupasi”:
The Turkish Cup began Wednesday, Feb. 6, with two quarterfinal games, followed by two more on Thursday, Feb. 7. The semi-finals will be Friday, Feb. 8, with the finals on Sunday, Feb. 10.
Besiktas JK Istanbul vs. TED Ankara, 86-77
Pınar Karşıyaka vs. Fenerbahce Ulker, 69-77
Hacettepe Üniv. vs. Banvit BK Bandirma
Galatasaray Medical Park vs. Anadolu Efes
Semi-Finals (Feb. 8 – Eskişehir, Anadolu Univ.):
Besiktas JK Istanbul vs. Fenerbahce Ulker
Winner (Hacettepe Üniv. vs. Banvit BK Bandirma) vs. Winner (Galatasaray Medical Park vs. Anadolu Efes)
Finals (Feb. 10 – Eskişehir, Anadolu Univ.)
I like it as Final 8 format more. Gives full picture.
I wish they separate the dates for all leagues, so you don’t have to follow all leagues cup games during one and the same weekend.