The Last 32 gates break open, Eurocup round up

Round 7 was an eventful one! Mire Chatman took over as the Eurocup’s all-time leading scorer from Todor Stoykov. He now has 1,150 career points in the competition. And at least one team from every group broke through into the Last 32; nine qualified in total this week to join Herbalife Gran Canaria Las Palmas, which advanced in Round 6. The list is Strasbourg from Group A, JDA Dijon from Group B, Virtus Rome from Group C, Besiktas Integral Forex Istanbul from Group D, Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius, Banvit Bandirma and Krasny Oktyabr Volgograd from Group E and Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar and Pinar Karsiyaka Izmir from Group E.

GROUP A

In another thriller between these two teams, Strasbourg prevailed 71-73 over CAI Zaragoza after overtime – for the second time this season – to secure its place in the Last 32. Strasbourg used a 2-11 fourth quarter run to take 55-62 lead, but Stevan Jelovac rallied CAI again, and tied the score at 66-66 to force overtime in which Ali Traore scored 5 of his 17 points for Strasbourg, including what proved to be a game winner in the final minute. Traore also pulled down 9 rebounds. Jelovac led CAI with 14. In an all-German League showdown, Brose Baskets Bamberg topped Telekom Baskets Bonn 52-71 on the road. Daniel Theis and Janis Strelnieks led the winners with 17 points apiece. The hosts were limited to 1-of-21 three-point shooting, in which was one of the biggest keys to this game. In the group opener on Tuesday, Grissin Bon Reggio Emilia bested Paris Levallois 78-72 in a game that featured eight ties in the fourth quarter alone. Clutch three-pointers from Drake Diener and Achille Polonara lifted Reggio Emilia in the closing minute.

GROUP B

Damian Hollis’s tip-in at the buzzer was the difference Tuesday as FoxTown Cantu bested Artland Dragons 66-68in Quakenbrueck, Germany. The hosts led by 3 with 16 seconds remaining, but Stefano Gentile came through with an unlikely basket-plus-foul before a costly turnover set the stage for Hollis’s heroics. The game was tied at five different points in the second half and seemed destined for overtime until Cantu struck late. Hollis led Cantu with 16 points. In an all-French showdown on Wednesday, JDA Dijon defeated ASVEL Lyon Villeurbanne 75-58 for a season sweep and a place in the Last 32. The hosts made a charge in the second quarter, using four consecutive triples to build a double-digit halftime lead, and then a 22-7 spurt that bridged the third and fourth quarters paved the way to victory. Steven Gray hit 4 of 7 from downtown on his way to game-high 20 points. Antoine Mendy had 13 points, 7 rebounds and 3 steals. Already qualified Herbalife Gran Canaria Las Palmas held off Telenet Ostend 79-70 to keep its perfect record intact. Gran Canaria controlled the game from the early going, but did not secure victory until putting together a 12-0 run in the fourth quarter. Brad Newley scored 16 points for the winners.

GROUP C

In a top-of-the-table clash, Virtus Rome downed SLUC Nancy 64-76 on the road and became the first team to advance to the Last 32. Kyle Gibson paced the winners with 18 points. Rok Stipcevic and Jordan Morgan each added 12 for Rome. Bandja Sy had 18 points for Nancy, which led 21-11 after 10 minutes. Rome rallied in the second quarter to get a 33-34 edge at the break and kept full control of the game until the final buzzer. EWE Baskets Oldenburg and Proximus Spirou Charleroi both rejoined the race to reach the Last 32 in the group. Spirou defeated Baloncesto Seville 82-72 behind 20 points on 6-of-9 three-point shooting by Dylan Page. Alex Urtasun led Seville with 16 points. An outstanding 27-point third quarter allowed Spirou to get a 65-56 margin and the hosts never looked back. Oldenburg downed CEZ Basketball Nymburk 84-71 at home. Casper Ware paced the winners with 24 points on 6-of-9 three-point shooting. Nemanja Aleksandrov added 19 and 10 rebounds for Oldenburg. Derek Raivio led Nymburk with 16 points. Back-to-back three-pointers by Ware and Rickey Paulding sealed the outcome in the next-to-last minute.

GROUP D

Besiktas Integral Forex Istanbul defeated Zenit St. Petersburg 87-73 to cinch a Last 32 spot. JaJuan Johnson scored 25 points and Chris Lofton added 16 on 4-of-6 three-point shooting for Besiktas, which improved to 6-1 with the victory. The visitors used a 0-11 run that straddled halftime to tie the game early in the third quarter, however Besiktas later reeled off 12 straight points to make it 60-49 and never looked back. Khimki Moscow Region routed Union Olimpija Ljubljana 105-77 at home to remain alone in second place. Khimki used an amazing 22-4 run in the first quarter, with 15 points from Tyrese Rice and his 3-for-3 shooting from three-point range, to get a 29-10 margin and never looked back. Marko Popovic led the winners with 20 points and 7 assists and Rice finished with 18 points in 17 minutes. Klemen Prepelic tallied 24 points and 5 assists for Olimpija. Szolnoki Olaj downed VEF Riga 96-84 in Debrecen, Hungary, to improve its chances to advance. Peter Lorant paced the winners with 19 points. Olaj used a 7-0 run to lead 51-39 at halftime. Nothing changed after the break, as Olaj extended its margin to 71-53 through three quarters and kept a double-digit lead throughout the fourth quarter.

GROUP E

Three teams crashed through the Last 32 gates from Group E! Banvit Bandirma bested Partizan NIS Belgrade 90-85 after overtime to become the first team through. Vladimir Dragicevic bagged 20 points for the winners and EJ Rowland contributed with 19 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists. Milenko Tepic scored 21 points for the visitors. Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius beat CSU Asesoft Ploiesti 79-72 for its fifth win in a row to advance to the Last 32. The 2009 Eurocup champs share first place in the group with Banvit at 6-1, while Asesoft Ploiesti suffered its third consecutive defeat and dropped to 3-4 and fourth place. An 11-2 run at the midway point of the third quarter gave the first comfortable cushion, 56-42, to Rytas, which took the lead for good and never looked back. Antanas Kavaliauskas contributed 21 points on 9-of-11 two-point shooting in victory. Krasny Oktyabr Volgograd edged Hapoel Jerusalem 69-67 to snag a coveted ticket to the Last 32. Oktyabr improved to 4-3 – with two of those wins coming by a total of 3 points against Jerusalem. The loss dropped Jerusalem to 1-6 and significantly dampened its Last 32 chances. The game was tied late, but Round 6 MVP Romeo Travis hit a crucial three and Cuthbert Victor posted free throws to seal the win. Travis led the winners with 23 points, 11 rebounds, 5 steals and 2 assists.

GROUP F

The major outcome from Tuesday action was that Lokomotiv Kuban advanced to the Last 32 without even playing! Stelmet Zielona Gora outlasted PAOK Thessaloniki 84-77 Tuesday for its first victory of the Eurocup season. The result kept the hosts’ chances to reach the Last 32 alive, while dropping PAOK to 4-3 in Group F and mathematically clinching idle Lokomotiv’s berth in the next stage. Quinton Hosley led the Zielona Gora attack with 17 points and Przemyslaw Zamojski shot 4 for 4 from downtown for 14 points. Lokomotiv Kuban bested Ventspils 60-69 on Wednesday to celebrate its Last 32 berth, while also spoiling Mire Chatman record-setting night. Chatman became the Eurocup’s all-time leading scorer in the first quarter, surpassing the retired Todor Stoykov. Lokomotiv improved to 7-0 with the win. Derrick Brown paced the winners with 21 points and 10 rebounds, while Nikita Kurbanov added 10 points on 3-of-4 three-point shooting. Harvey Grant paced Ventspils with 17 points, Chatman finished with 12 points, 4 assists and 3 steals. The trio of Jon Diebler, Bobby Dixon and Juan Palacios combined for 52 points as Pinar Karsiyaka Izmir topped Buducnost VOLI Podgorica 86-78 to clinch a spot in the Eurocup Last 32. It was Karsiyaka’s second win this season over the Montenegrin champs. The game came down to a series of runs. Baris Hersek scored 8 in a 12-0 first-quarter run that gave the hosts the lead for good. It reached 15 in the second quarter as the hosts stayed in total control until Suad Sehovic took charge and keyed a 3-14 start to the fourth quarter to bring Buducnost within 69-67. But Karsiyaka turned to Dixon who scored 7 in an 11-0 run that wrapped up the outcome.

Source: Eurocupbasketball

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