Credit: Roberto Finizio/Getty Images
Credit Roberto Finizio/Getty Images

All around Europe, it's the time for a little break in the domestic leagues, which will be filled by the local cups.

3-pointers this season

36%
8,7
Points made: 8,7
Accuracy: 35,8%
Place in standings: 13
Record max: 17
Record min: 3
Most made 3FGs: Marco Belinelli

In just a few days, teams will fight for the first domestic title of the season. The tension and the excitement that the domestic cups generate are something that can't usually be found during the regular season of the local leagues. 

If you're missing some info or details about these competitions, there's no need to worry because we've got you covered.

In this article, we will focus on the Italian Cup, where the Final Eight of the cup will be played in Pesaro from February 16 to February 20. 

Format & Teams

The eight teams to participate are the eight best teams at the end of the first half of the Italian league. AX Armani Exchange Milan qualified with the best record, while Virtus Bologna will be the no. 2 seeded team. Meanwhile, Dinamo Sassari was the last team to qualify and have the no.8 seed.

Teams

  • AX Armani Exchange (no. 1 seed)
  • Virtus Bologna (no. 2)
  • Allianz Trieste (no. 3)
  • Dolomiti Energia Trento (no. 4)
  • Germani Brescia (no. 5)
  • Derthona Basket (no. 6)
  • Happy Casa Brindisi (no. 7)
  • Dinamo Sassari (no. 8)

Schedule

On Wednesday 16, Milan and Sassari will open the competition with the first game. After that, it'll be the turn of Dolomiti Energia Trento and Germani Brescia, no. 4 and no. 5 seeded teams, respectively. 

The following day, Thursday 17, the other two quarter-finals will be played: Pallacanestro Trieste vs Derthona Basket and Virtus Bologna vs Happy Casa Brindisi. 

The teams that will advance to the semi-finals will have a free day on Friday. Saturday, both semi-finals will be played, and on Sunday, there'll be the final game.

Quarterfinals

  • February 16: AX Armani Exchange Milan vs Sassari Dinamo (88-68)
  • February 16: Dolomiti Energia Trento vs Germani Brescia (73-78)
  • February 17: Pallacanestro Trieste vs Derthona Basket (82-94)
  • February 17: Virtus Bologna vs Happy Casa Brindisi (93-81)

Semifinals

  • February 19: AX Armani Exchange Milan vs Germani Brescia (69-63)
  • February 19: Derthona Basket vs Virtus Bologna (94-82)

Final

  • February 20 18:00 CET

Talking points

Trieste qualified for the Final Eight with the third-best record, and they're one of the most interesting stories of this season. Despite having a limited budget, the team coached by Franco Ciani is doing a fantastic job. Trieste was promoted back to the top division back in 2018, and they immediately reached the playoffs.

Also, last season, Trieste qualified for the post-season and it looks like they will repeat this feat this season as well. 

There's a little bit of uncertainty surrounding the situation of Sassari. The club is dealing with several Covid cases inside the team, and their league game against Virtus Bologna, the last one before the cup, has been suspended.

Due to a modification in the current rules, Sassari will be able to play with only 8 players available, even if some of them are not tied to professional contracts, meaning that the team coached by Piero Bucchi will be able to use players from the youth team to finalize the roster. 

Virtus Bologna, the most anticipated team of the competition with Armani Exchange, will most likely have back Kevin Hervey, who has been out with a knee injury since December.

An important recovery for coach Scariolo, who has been dealing with several injuries on his roster this season. 

Despite talks of a possible capacity's widening, the final eight of the Italian Cup will be played with only 35% capacity inside the arena.

Throwback to last year

  • In last year final, Armani Exchange beat Carpegna Prosciutto Pesaro 87-59 as Luigi Datome was named the MVP of the tournament. 
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