Sharrod Ford inspired Paris Levallois’ qualification from Group A in the Eurocup after they bested Telekom Baskets Bonn 87-80 in overtime.
Ford hit 30 points and pulled down 11 rebounds as the French side needed a Landing Sane game-tying layup to send it into an extra session at 70-70. There Blake Schilb shined to help the hosts to the historic win.
“Everybody recognized that it was an important game tonight,” Ford said afterwards. “We fought hard tonight to advance. The goal was to win by four to take the [tiebreaker]. We still want to win the last game in Strasbourg. We have less pressure for this final game.”
Tadas Klimavicius led Bonn with 19 points, as they move to 3-6.
Zaragoza were the second and final team to qualify from Group A after they beat Reggio Emilia 87-75 on the road.
With the score tied at 71-71 with five minutes left, Zaragoza went on a 9-2 run to seal the win as the Italians were never able to recover.
Pedro Llompart starred with 12 points and 13 assists for the winners but Chris Goulding paced the Zaragoza attack with 19 points. Drake Diener led Reggio Emilia with 19 points and 6 assists but were eliminated.
“I am very happy first of all for the qualification to the second round of the Eurocup and then for how my team played the game, keeping the maximum concentration and determination that brought us to this great result,” said Zaragoza coach Joaquin Ruiz.
A 23-4 run spanning the end of the third and beginning of the fourth was enough for Besiktas to secure a vital 76-64 road win over VEF Riga in Group D.
Riga were in firm control until the midway point of the third when the wheels came off and Besiktas ran riot, leading them to victory and a share of top spot in the pool on a 7-2 record.
John Holland hit five three-pointers, on his way to 18 points for the winners. Gerald Robinson scored 15 of his 17 points in the first half for VEF.