Eurocup 2015-16 round up (week 3)

Round 3 featured plenty to remember fondly with three overtime thrillers, buzzer-beaters, a great many road wins and some tremendous individual efforts. When all was done, only four teams escaped three games of Eurocup action without a loss: Herbalife Gran Canaria Las Palmas, Valencia Basket, Zenit St Petersburg and Galatasaray Odeabank Istanbul .

GROUP A

There is a four-way tie for the first place in Group A. Telekom Baskets Bonn downed Union Olimpija Ljubljana 77-82 in the Slovenian capital to grab its first road win of the season. Olimpija retired Marko Milic’s No. 12 jersey in a brief ceremony before the game, but it was the visitors who led for the majority of the game. Bonn entered the fourth quarter with a 51-63 lead at and held off Olimpija’s wild comeback down the stretch. Aaron White led the winners with 20 points and 7 rebounds. Dolomiti Energia Trento beat JSF Nanterre 70-55. Julian Wright paced the winners with 14 points, while Trent Lockett added 13 as Trento led throughout the game before limiting the visitors to just 1 point in the first 7 minutes of the fourth quarter to seal the outcome long before the final buzzer. In a Tuesday tip-off, Dominion Bilbao Basket dominated EWE Baskets Oldenburg 60-94. The visitors started the game on a 2-11 tear and never looked back with the lead growing continuously for the rest of the night and reaching 38 by the end. Dominion BB made 16 of 31 three-pointers with six different players making multiple threes. Dairis Bertans led the Dominion attack with 17 points and Clevin Hannah posted 15 points and 7 assists.

GROUP B

In a hard-fought game that both teams had a chance to win in regulation on Wednesday, visiting ALBA Berlin edged Le Mans Sarthe Basket 84-88 in overtime. ALBA led in the fourth quarter, but allowed the hosts to rally, and Mickael Gelabale had a chance to win it, but hit only the second of 2 free throws and sent the game to an extra session at 72-72. That’s where Niels Giffey stepped up, hitting a pair of triples, his only points of the night, to pave the way for ALBA’s win in which Dragan Milosavljevic scored 17 points, while Jordan Taylor had 16 points, 9 assists and 6 rebounds. In the other Wednesday game, Grissing Bon Reggio Emilia downed MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg 65-76 to pick up its first Eurocup road win in almost a decade. The visitors built a double-digit margin before halftime, increased the margin to 18 points in the third quarter and never allowed Ludwigsburg to get closer to 6 points the rest of the way as Amadeo Della Valle had 18 points in victory. On Tuesday, Herbalife Gran Canaria Las Palmas mauled Enel Basket Brindisi 103-76 to remain undefeated. The point tally was the second most in club history and tied Avtodor Saratov for the most scored in the Eurocup this season. Gran Canaria used 9-0 and 10-0 runs in the first quarter to take charge. The difference stood at 50-35 at halftime and Brindisi never came within 10 the rest of the way. Sasu Salin led the way with 20 points on 6-of-10 three-point shooting and Kyle Kuric amassed 18 points on 5-of-7 shooting from downtown.

GROUP C

In the only battle of previously unbeaten teams, Valencia Basket edged ratiopharm Ulm 79-82 on a pair of late Guillem Vives threes. Ulm led by as many as 18 in the first half and fended off Valencia’s second half runs to lead by 4 midway through the fourth quarter and by 3 with 44 seconds left. However Vives took charge after that to push Valencia to victory. Vives finished with 21 points and 9 assists, while Justin Hamilton posted 19 points and 9 rebounds. On Wednesday, CAI Zaragoza held off winless SLUC Nancy 76-78 to register its first road win of the season and improve to 2-1. CAI took the lead for good late in the third quarter, then used baskets from Isaac Fotu in the fourth to build a 63-72 lead before holding on in the final minute. Joan Sastre netted 21 points in victory. Umana Reyer Venice stopped Proximus Spirou Charleroi 73-69. Venice took the lead for good with an 8-0 run to end the third quarter, but Billy Baron led a late Spirou rally. However, the same player had a chance to tie the game in the waning seconds, but split free throws and the hosts managed to hold on. Jeff Viggiano hit 5 of 9 from downtown and finished with 15 points and 7 rebounds for Venice.

GROUP D

There are no more unbeaten or winless teams in Group D. Aris Thessaloniki stunned previously undefeated Unics Kazan 73-74 in overtime on the road. Aris led the entire fourth quarter, but Unics forced overtime with a last-second triple from Kostas Kaimakoglou. The lead changed seven times during the extra session before Jerel McNeal hit the jumper with a minute left, which turned out to be the last basket of the game. McNeal paced the winners with 20 points, 5 rebound and 4 assists, while Jamelle Hagins added 16 in victory. Keith Langford netted 19 points for Unics. Trabzonspor Medical Park outlasted Buducnost VOLI Podgorica 75-71. Tarence Kinsey scored 23 points along with 7 rebounds, 4 steals and 4 assists to lead the way for the newcomer. Buducnost held a 10-point lead in the second quarter, but the hosts rallied and took the lead for good in the third quarter and registered a win to remain unbeaten at home. Banvit Bandirma beat Steaua CSM EximBank Bucharest 64-78 on the road. A 0-12 run that bridged the third and fourth quarters opened up a 42-64 Banvit lead, which sealed the outcome as Adrien Moerman collected 16 points and 9 rebounds, while A.J. Slaughter scored 14 in victory.

GROUP E

Three games and three big road wins defined Group E on Wednesday. Undefeated Zenit St. Petersburg eased past winless Szolnoki Olaj 75-84 to remain in sole possession of first place with a 3-0 record. Zab Dowdell led the winners with 24 points on a near-perfect shooting performance (5 of 6 two-point shots, 2 of 2 three-point shots and 8 of 8 free throws) plus 14 assists, 5 steals and 4 rebounds for a performance index ranking of 51 – tying the Eurocup’s all-time record for the highest index in a non-overtime game. Kyle Landry added 21 points and 12 rebounds for Zenit, which took the lead for good late in the first quarter, but pulled away in the third and never allowed Szolnoki get too close. Avtodor Saratov downed Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius 81-97 for its second consecutive double-digit road win. Avtodor had a 2-14 run in the second, and a 2-15 spurt in the third quarter to break the game wide-open and never look back. Jeremy Chappell paced the winners with 15 points while Travis Peterson added 14 for Avtodor. Besiktas Sompo Japan Istanbul crushed PAOK Thessaloniki 80-100. Nate Wolters paced the winners with 27 points, 6 rebounds and 8 assists, while Maciej Lampe amassed 18 points and 15 rebounds for Besiktas, which had six scorers in double figures. Besiktas made 10-of-17 three-point shots, and led 28-55 at halftime. PAOK managed to get within 9 points after the break, but the visitors kept control and cruised to victory.

GROUP F

The hosts had their way in Group F on Wednesday, but it wasn’t all easy. Martynas Mazeika scored 7 points in an 11-0 run in overtime as Neptunas Klaipeda overcame Krasny Oktyabr Volgograd 99-90. Daniel Ewing scored 22 points and dished 5 assists to lead the winning attack. Travis Bader added 17 of 5-of-7 three-point shooting. Jordan Hamilton scored 21 in defeat – including a put-back at the end of regulation to force overtime. Galatasaray Odeabank Istanbul held off Hapoel Bank Yahav Jerusalem 87-79. The home team made 16 of 31 three-point shots, including 4 without a miss in the final four minutes of the game after Jerusalem rallied to take 73-74 lead. Sinan Guler was 5 for 8 from downtown en route to 19 points and 7 assists for the winners. And AEK Athens mowed down Nizhny Novgorod 87-70 for its first win. Loukas Mavrokefalidis starred for the winners with 19 points and 13 rebounds and Milan Milosevic added 17 points. The game was close throughout the first half, but Milosevic highlighted a 17-0 third-quarter run that paved AEK’s road to victory.

Eurocup Basketball

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