Tuesday at 11:10 a.m., the Hamburg Towers will take off for Valencia with flight number EW 7530.
On September 27, 2014, the journey of Hamburg’s basketball player in the 2nd ProA league began with a 66:65 in Gießen. Wednesday (8.30 p.m., Magenta Sport) in the Spanish port city in the round of 16 of the EuroCup, the biggest game in its (short) history will take place.
“We have nothing to lose. But Valencia are the clear favorites for the title,” said coach Pedro Calles (38). The traditional club has won the second highest European competition four times. The budget of the sixth in the Spanish top league ACB is 15.2 million euros, three times as high as that of the Towers!
For Calles, the evening at the Pabellon Fuente de San Luis (9,000 seats) is something special anyway: “Because I’m going back to my home country. And because the Spanish clubs probably play the best basketball in Europe. When I started this journey, I didn’t think about playing a play-off game against Valencia at such an early stage in my career.”
The Spaniards are tall (most rebounds in the EuroCup) and have a high basketball IQ. The knockout mode speaks for the Towers.
“He always meets the outsider,” says center Maik Kotsar (25). The Estonian sensationally made it to the Final Four with the College of South Carolina in 2017. Kotsar: “You can always win ONE game. If the throws go in, you play more intensively, you can surprise the opponent. It will be a team effort. As a collective we can challenge them.”
But in terms of intensity, the towers have had a hard time recently. In the compulsory victory on Easter Sunday in the Bundesliga in Braunschweig (92:79), they slept through the start again and needed the first quarter to find their identity. “Honestly. I was shocked in the first three minutes,” admits Calles. “I expect that we will be more ready in Valencia from the start.”
Hope gives: Caleb Homesley (25) was finally back at 100 percent after a back injury with the lions with 23 points. The top scorer had his hair cut before departure and is happy: “It’s a big game. Everything is possible for us.”