A major highlight of the basketball season is on the schedule this Saturday at the Coque ARENA in Kirchberg with the cup finals.
Women (LALUX Ladies Cup)
17:00 Sparta Bertrange – Gréngewald Hueschtert
Men (Coupe Loterie Nationale)
20:15 Etzella Ettelbruck – Basket Esch
Let’s take a look at some things to look at before both final games:
Number of spectators
2500 spectators visited last year’s cup finals. This season, we already had high visiting numbers in the semi finals with 1800 spectators on Saturday and a sold out crowd of 2000 spectators on Sunday in the « small » gym in the Coque. It will be interesting to see how many people will visit the event this year.
Basket Esch is the current winner in the men’s category and therefore has the chance to defend its title on Saturday. Esch has never won the men’s title before last season and is looking for a second title in club history while Etzella has won the even an incredible amount of 24 times in the men’s category, the most recent success was in 2019.
Both women’s finalists of last season: Résidence Walfer (title winner) and T71 Dudelange did not enter the final this season. Sparta Bertrange has won the cup competition twice in the club’s history, this dates back to 1988 and 1989 while Gréngewald Hueschtert is looking for a first cup title in their club history.
Everybody knows that the Coque has its own rules, but confidence alwasy plays a key role in a finals situation. The women’s team of Gréngewald has not lost a game since November 2022, that makes it 13 wins in a row in the championship competition! In fact, their last loss was against Sparta Bertrange (90:95). Since the addition of Lauren Van Kleunen, the team of head coach Francois Manti is unbeaten. Their last direct meeting was played 3 weeks ago and Gréngewald won 90:72 so that the « GREENS » could be considered the slight favorite entering the final.
In the men’s league, Basket Esch finished the season with 3 wins in a row and in second seed while Etzella lost a key game against Amicale and therefore only finished on the number 4 seed in the standings. Basket Esch won both regular season games against Etzella and the surprising fact about these games was the end result (71:68 and 72:67), two low scoring games. Etzella leads the LBBL in scoring with 91.3 points per game but could only score in the high 60s against Basket Esch this season.
In the women’s semi finals, Jovana Jaksic exploded for 39 points and 11 rebounds to lead Sparta to a victory over Contern. With Martha Burse and Jovana Jaksic, Sparta has 2 players that are capable of scoring 30+ points in a game as both players average over 20 points a game while Bridget Yoerger can finish the game with a triple double on a good night (she had 24 rebounds and 10 assists in the semi final). Sparta’s young role players like Lena Mersch or Mia Hagen have shown over the course of the season that can take over responsibility, Hagen hit the key 3-pointer in the semi final to win the game for Bertrange.
Gréngewald has a lot of experience with EX-WNBA player Samantha Logic organizing the game, she leads the league with 8.3 assists per game. Lauren Van Kleunen has been spectacular since joining the team and has not lost a game in Luxembourg so far and Shavania Dowdell has been to step in and help the team since her arrival. With Lisy Hetting, Gréngewald also has a JICL MVP candidate on its roster, the experienced guard is capable of showing her abilities in these kind of situations.
In the men’s final, Thomas Grün (Esch) and Philippe Gutenkauf (Etzella) are two JICL MVP candidates this season, both guards are certainly able to put up a show in such a game. Clancy Rugg is the solid rock in the game of Basket Esch and he has had plenty of big games in the Coque, including with the men’s national team. Etzella has the possibility to use 3 professional players and it will be interesting to see how coach Gavin Love uses his 3 players in this game. The role players will become very important important as well because hitting outside shots has become more and more important to win basketball games and expecially in this final situation, making 3-pointers can decide between winning the cup or finishing as the runner up.
Get your tickets
You can order your tickets here –> TICKET PRESALE CUP FINALS 2023
Free Tickets for kids under 16 years are only available at the box office.
The BASCOL cup final will be played at 14:00, the Black Lions from Dudelange will play against the bank Spuerkeess.