ERA Nymburk is among the Basketball Champions League originals preparing for the Final 8.
ERA Nymburk advanced to the Basketball Champions League Final 8 with the goal of claiming what is rightfully theirs.
The Czech outlet has reached the Final 8 for the second time in a row. Only Hereda San Pablo Burgos, Iberostar Tenerife, and Casademont Zaragoza can make such a claim. The Nymburk story, on the other hand, goes back much further than the first Final 8 that was introduced to close out the 2019-20 season.
Lasting BCL original
Nymburk was a part of the Champions League’s first season and has continued to improve since then. A team that relies heavily on homegrown talent, is one of the best examples of success in the Basketball Champions League model, and may be carrying a chip on its shoulder as it travels to Nizhny Novgorod, Russia.
They were assigned to Group A for the 2016-17 season. Third place was secured with a 10-4 record, but a single point in the home-and-away series against Dinamo Sassari prevented a Round of 16 berth.
Nymburk played in Group D of the Regular Season in 2017-18. The team advanced to the playoffs with a 10-4 run, but were knocked out by AEK by a one-point margin in the home-and-away series.
The Nymburk team was eliminated one step earlier after being held to a 4-10 record in Group C of the 2018-19 Regular Season following a couple of very tough breaks.
The coronavirus pandemic had a significant impact on the breakout campaign of the 2019-20 season. A 12-2 record in Group C and a 2-0 sweep of Teskut Bandirma set up a best-of-three series against AEK with home-court advantage. However, with the Final 8 in Athens early in the current season, the season was finally completed. In a single-game elimination match at OAKA, the Queen defeated Nymburk.
The next step
Nymburk’s status as a potential sleeper in the Champions League’s later stages is no longer valid. The question of what might have happened last season will never be answered. The approaching Final 8 provides head coach Oren Amiel and his players with the opportunity to take the next step toward a title discussion.
Nymburk came out on top of a three-way tie (4-2) between Tofas and JDA Dijon to earn a spot in Group B for the Regular Season. The second chance in the Final 8 came after a 5-1 victory in the Playoffs, which switched to a round-robin format.
“We are in the part of the bracket that is theoretically easier, so we can’t make excuses,” said Vojtech Hruban, “But the fact is that we still have as our opponent the third-placed team of the Turkish league, which has strong individuals on the roster. But it’s a team that might suit us, because they don’t have such a deep rotation and our fast-paced game can be useful against them. We will see how it goes.”
The Final 8 draw set a quarterfinal date of May 5 against Pinar Karsiyaka. The winner will compete against either Nizhny Novgorord or Casademont Zaragoza, the host city. The winner of the semifinals advances to the championship game.
“Karsiyaka were one of the opponents I wanted. The draw was friendly to us, and if we prepare well, we definitely have a chance to advance,” added experienced center, Petr Benda, “Of course Karsiyaka are a very strong opponent, like all the teams that are in the Final 8, but we could have an advantage over them because of our deep rotation.”
Pouring points and grabbing rebounds.
In comparison to the remaining BCL teams, the 1,078 points scored so far are unmatched. The team’s offensive effort leads the league with an average of 89.8 points per game. The main culprits are Omar Prewitt (15.9), Retin Obasohan (14.4), and Hruban (13.4 points per appearance).
Nymburk also leads the Champions League in rebounding with 44.0 per game. Over the 12 games of the Regular Season and the Round of 16, Hayden Dalton, the team’s leading MVP candidate, has averaged 7.2 rebounds, 11.5 points, 2.4 assists, 1.4 steals, and 0.6 blocks per appearance.