Valencia Basket stormed to success to lift the 2014 Eurocup after a 73-85 win over Unics Kazan in Russia on Wednesday. In winning, the Spanish club became the most successful in the history of the competition by claiming its third Eurocup crown.
Much of the damage had been done last week when Valencia welcomed Unics to Spain and downed the Russian club 80-67. The thirteen point lead from Game 1 gave Valencia a strong cushion to visit Kazan, but as it turned out the Spaniards would not need that deficit as they swept the series with a confident away performance.
Unics Kazan vs. Valencia Basket, 73-85
Valencia opened the scoring when Paul Ribas took a lay-up early on to get the scoreboard moving. The visitors decided against a zonal defense and instead opted for a man to man set up, and it worked as the Spanish team went 3-9 in front in the game and 19 points clear on aggregate. Valencia had dominated the early stages and had already snatched turnover ball on four occasions. There was simply no reply from Unics and the crowd inside the Basket Hall Kazan was left stunned by a first quarter that finished with Valencia leading 4-16.
The damage had very much been done in the first stanza, and at the start of the second Kazan continued to struggle. Despite trying to open up the frontcourt, the hosts saw a Nikos Zisis triple erased from a stunning downtown effort from Pablo Aguilar (7-20). It did not take long for Aguilar to strike again from beyond the arc to make it 7-23 to all but kill the series, with the two game score now standing at 74-103. Unics Kazan finally hit double digits midway through the second frame and the Russian club did become more consistent as the first half drew to a close. However, Valencia stayed on course and the score at the midway point stood at 25-39 (92-119).
Justin Doellman put Valencia Basket where they had left off at the start of the third, pushing the visitors to a commanding 27-43 lead on the night. Doellman kept pushing for the Spanish team and he was proving a one man answer for the questions being posed by a more consistent Unics Kazan attack. The Russian team improved in the third period and even tied Valencia’s haul of 32 points for the 10 minutes. It was an improved effort on Kazan’s part, but the game had gone, as had the Eurocup title.
The poor first quarter had done all the damage for Unics and it had given Valencia total command of the tie. Indeed, the Spanish club could even ease off the gas during the final frame, allowing Unics to win the fourth quarter by 16 points to 14. As the final buzzer sounded in Russia, the visiting team had claimed a resounding victory and the Eurocup would be heading back to Spain for another year.
Doellman’s sensational display saw him collect 26 points and walk away with the MVP award. Also pacing Valencia Basket were Rafa Martinez with 14 points and Sam Van Rossom with 11.
For a deflated Unics Kazan, Andrew Goudelock continued his hugely impressive Eurocup form with 22 points.