By Aris Barkas/ firstname.lastname@example.org
In a season of great interest, with Virtus Segafredo Bologna and Partizan NIS Belgrade getting the spotlight by default, a team that is synonymous with the 7DAYS EuroCup success was kind of overlooked. That’s not the case anymore, though. Entering Round 14 of the regular season, Valencia Basket sits second behind fellow Spanish club Gran Canaria in the Group B standings, both with 9-4 records.
You probably know that Valencia is the winningest team in the history of the 7DAYS EuroCup, taking the trophy four times. And while the past doesn’t guarantee success, it creates a path and a pattern for the future.
As for the present, the numbers are proving that Valencia is back with a vengeance in the EuroCup. To be exact, Valencia is the only contender currently in the top five of all major statistic categories of the competition, which frankly is not surprising at all.
Speaking about offense, the Spanish team is currently second in points scored (86.2 per game) behind only currently-suspended Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar (90.4 per game); third in made three-pointers (10.2 per game), behind Hamburg Towers (11.6 per game), and Cedevita Olimpija (10.9 per game); and also third in assists (20.3 per game), behind Virtus Bologna (22.7 per game) and Joventut Badalona (21.8 per game).
On defense, things are equally impressive. Valencia is the top rebounding team of the competition with a huge 40.0 total rebounds per game, fueled by the fact that the Spanish team is also first on the offensive glass, where it grabs 13.0 boards per contest.
In total, Valencia is currently fourth in performance index rating (101.2 per game), just 1.3 points per average behind top-ranked Joventut Badalona (102.5).
What’s even more impressive however is the fact that Valencia is doing all this as a unit, relying on a system and not just individual talent.
It’s obvious that some of the best players in the history of the competition are part of Valencia’s roster, but on the other hand, none of them is currently at the top five of any major statistical category.
Plus, the only Valencia player who is currently part of any top 10 list is Mike Tobey. He holds the ninth spot in rebounding with an average of 6.6 per game.
Of course, numbers sometimes can be deceiving and that’s obvious when you turn to the advanced stats, where the true efficiency of Valencia is more than obvious.
Valencia has three players among the best 10 in effective field goal percentage, which measures their combined two-point and three-point shooting effectiveness. Jaime Pradilla holds the fourth spot with 72.7%, while Sam Van Rossom is fifth (72.6%) and Jasiel Rivero seventh (69.6%).
Van Rossom, though currently sidelined with a leg injury, is also second in the competition in the true shooting percentage – the percentage of points made vs. points attempted – with an impressive 75.8%. Pradilla is just behind him in the third spot (75.1%).
Mike Tobey jumps to the second spot in rebounds percentage, the estimated percentage of available rebounds obtained while he is on the floor, with 18.1%, while Rivero is fourth in the same category for defensive rebounds, at 14.6%.
Van Rossom also is fourth in the assists/turnovers ratio (4.6-to-1).
Rossom is also fifth in the assists ratio – the estimated percentage of assists per player’s offensive possessions – with 37.3%.
So the bottom line is simple. With five rounds left in the regular season, Valencia is already rolling and the EuroCup’s empire club is aiming for the top once more.