By Eurohoops team/ firstname.lastname@example.org
After the 2021-22 All-EuroCup First Team, EuroLeague Basketball announced the competition’s Second Team Sunday (8/5). It features Partizan Belgrade guard Kevin Punter, Hamburg Towers guard Caleb Homsley, Ratiopharm Ulm guard Semaj Christon, Cedevita Olimpija wing Jaka Blazic and Valencia forward/center Bojan Dubljevic.
Per EuroLeague Basketball:
Euroleague Basketball continues to honor the individuals who have made this 7DAYS EuroCup season such an exciting one. Now let’s introduce the five members of the All-EuroCup Second Team as voted by fans, media, head coaches and team captains.
The 7DAYS EuroCup’s all-time leader in scoring, PIR and rebounding, Bojan Dubljevic put together another fine season that earned him an All-EuroCup Second Team selection. Valencia Basket had seven players averaging more than 20 minutes per game this season and Dubljevic played the sixth most at 20:26 per game. However, that did not stop him from finishing the season sixth in all of the EuroCup in both total rebounds (116) and rebounding per-40 minutes (12.1). The veteran big man was Valencia’s top man on the glass with 6.1 boards per game and finished with the second-highest average PIR on the team, 13.3. Dubljevic averaged 8.8 points on 60.9% two points shooting in his ninth season with the club and was one of four players on the team with more than 3 assists (3.1 apg.). Dubljevic stepped up in the EuroCup Playoffs, during which he averaged 11.0 points and 9.3 rebounds in three elimination-round games to help the team reach the semifinals. That includes his performance in the quarterfinals against Boulogne Metropolitans 92 when he scored 16 points and pulled down a career-high 13 rebounds for a PIR of 32. This is Dubljevic’s record fifth All-EuroCup selection.
Kevin Punter was Partizan NIS Belgrade’s on-court leader and always took the big shots in close games. As expected, he was one of the best scorers in the competition, ranking seventh with 16.2 points per game; only two players among the top 10 averaged fewer than Punter’s 17:04 minutes per game. He scored in double digits in all but one game and knocked down at least 1 three-point shot in all but two of his 17 appearances. Punter finished the season as Partizan’s leader with an average PIR of 16.5. He tied for 10th in the EuroCup this season in free throw percentage, making 63 of 72 attempts (87.5%). The Partizan guard started the season strong with 26 points on 8-for-8 two-point shooting and a season-high 38 PIR in a road victory at Hamburg Towers in his first-ever EuroCup game. In Round 3, Punter sank the game-winning jumper with 4.2 seconds remaining to lift Partizan to a 68-67 win over Joventut Badalona. For the season, Punter buried 59.8% of his two-point shots and also averaged 2.8 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 1.0 steals and 4.4 fouls drawn, which was seventh-best in the competition.
Despite being a EuroCup rookie himself, Caleb Homesley led debutant Hamburg Towers to a remarkable season. A perfect fit for Coach Pedro Calles’s playing style, he finished fourth in the competition in scoring with 17.4 points per game. Homesley led the EuroCup in three-point shots made (3.4 per game) and attempted (8.6 per game) in shooting 38.8% behind the arc. He proved to be much more than a shooter, however, as Homesley also led his team with 4.3 assists per game. He added 3.5 rebounds and 3.4 fouls drawn to average a PIR of 16.4. In Round 9 against Turk Telekom Ankara, Homesley matched the best individual performance of any player in the EuroCup over the last five seasons with a PIR of 45. He had 29 points, 11 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 steals and 5 fouls drawn in a 94-74 victory. That was one of seven games – half of his overall appearances – in which Homesley scored at least 20 points. For the 26-year-old Homesley, a spot on the All-EuroCup Second Team is a fine reward for an outstanding first season in European basketball.
Semaj Christon made the most out of being coached by Jaka Lakovic and ratiopharm Ulm enjoyed the fruits of their collaboration. Christon showcased his best basketball during the season to rank third in PIR with 20.1 per game. Always dangerous with the ball in his hands, he was third in scoring (17.4 ppg.) and fourth in assists (6.6 apg.). Christon was the only player to rank among the top five in both categories this season and also posted 3.7 rebounds, 1.2 steals and 3.8 fouls drawn per game. Christon earned regular season Round 16 MVP honors when he recorded one of his three double-doubles with 19 points and 12 assists for a PIR of 31 to help Ulm beat Mincidelice JL Bourg en Bresse. He played a stellar role in his team’s quarterfinals victory over Joventut Badalona, finishing that game with 21 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists, no turnovers and a PIR of 31. Ulm exited the competition with a quarterfinals loss against Virtus Segafredo Bologna in which Christon had yet another strong performance with 15 points, 5 rebounds and 7 assists.
Once the calendar turned to February, Cedevita Olimpija Ljubljana went on a glorious run of nine straight wins to finish the regular season and start the playoffs and Jaka Blazic was at the heart of it all. During that stretch, Blazic scored in double figures in every game he played and had multiple threes in all but one. He finished his fifth EuroCup campaign – and third with the club – with averages of 15.4 points, 4.8 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game for an average PIR of 17.0. Blazic ranked 12th in the competition in PIR and ninth in scoring and three-pointers made (2.3 per game). He had games this season where he set or tied his career-highs in rebounds (12 vs. Umana Reyer Venice in Round 7), assists (6 vs. Reyer in Round 16), steals and free throws made (5 and 10, respectively, vs. ratiopharm Ulm in Round 4). As the captain of a quarterfinalist, Blazic was the heart and soul of his team. This is Blazic’s second consecutive season as a member of the All-EuroCup teams.