At the end of Round 4 of the Eurocup Regular Season, only three teams remain undefeated: Galatasaray Odeabank Istanbul, Valencia Basket and Zenit St. Petersburg. All three are also alone atop their respective groups as is newcomer Dolomiti Energia Trento in Group A. Three teams share the top spot in Group B with 3-1 records and there are two tied atop Group D.
Newcomer Dolomiti Energia Trento defeated Telekom Baskets Bonn 89-96 in Germany on Wednesday for its first-ever Eurocup road win. Trento registered its third consecutive win to improve to 3-1 and claim the top spot in Group A. Julian Wright led the winners with 21 points and Trent Lockett added 20.Trento led 42-50 at halftime, but Bonn rallied for its first lead, 66-65, late in the third quarter. It stayed close until the closing minutes, when Wright and Davide Pascolo had 4 points apiece in a 0-9 run that sealed the outcome at 81-89. In a close game in which neither team held more than an 8-point margin, visiting Union Olimpija Ljubljana edged Dominion Bilbao Basket 80-83. Olimpija had a 45-53 advantage midway through the third quarter, but never more than that. Bilbao rallied, and briefly regained the lead in the fourth, but the visitors had their response in Sasa Zagorac and Zach Wright. Bilbao had a chance to send the game into overtime, but Alex Mumbru missed a three-pointer at the end. Wright paced the winners with 18 points, 10 rebounds and 5 assists, while Zgorac scored 17 in victory. EWE Baskets Oldenburg held off JSF Nanterre 84-81 for its first win of this Eurocup campaign. The hosts took the lead for good at the start of the second half after Nemanja Aleksandrov and Rickey Paulding each hit two three-pointers and extended the margin to double figures with a strong finish of the third quarter. Nanterre rallied with its own series of three pointers, and got within a single point several times in the final minutes, but Oldenburg never relinquished the lead. Brian Qvale paced the winners with 16 points in victory.
MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg held off a late charge from Enel Basket Brindisi to win 84-80 on Tuesday. The game was tied going into the fourth quarter, but Rocky Trice keyed a 14-0 run that seemed to put the game away until the visitors used 11 unanswered points to get within 2 in the final minute. In the end, Mustafa Shakur made 4 free throws to ice the win. Alvaro Munoz-Borchers made 5 of 9 three-pointers to lead Ludwigsburg with 17 points. Grissin Bon Reggio Emilia defeated Le Mans Sarthe Basket 93-82 to stay perfect at home. Amedeo Della Vale led a balanced attack with 20 points, Achille Polonara posted 14 points and 10 rebounds and Stefano Gentile tallied 13 points and 6 assists for the victors. The first half saw several lead swings with Le Mans leading by as many as 8 points. But Della Vale hit a pair of threes and Gentile another in a 9-0 run to finish the first half ahead 46-41 and Reggio Emilia never looked back. On Wednesday, ALBA Berlin rallied to beat Herbalife Gran Canaria Las Palmas 84-71.Down 16 in the first half, ALBA used a huge third quarter and a big game-ending run to win at the Mercedes-Benz arena in the German capital and tie Granca for first place in the group. Elmedin Kikanovic scored 24 points in victory. Kevin Pangos led Gran Canaria with 18 points.
The first team to four wins in the Eurocup this season was Valencia Basket, which dominated Umana Reyer Venice 88-59 on Tuesday. The hosts never trailed thanks to Rafa Martinez, who made 4 of 6 threes and scored 16 points and Bojan Dubljevic, who netted 15 points for the winners. Every Valencia player scored a basket. The real story for Valencia was its defense, which held Venice to just 27 second half points, which was what it scored in the fourth quarter alone. CAI Zaragoza defeated ratiopharm Ulm 69-59. The hosts took the lead for good with an 8-0 run early in the third quarter, pulled away to a 14-point margin at the midway point of the fourth quarter and never looked back. Joan Sastre led in victory with 16 points and Isaac Fotu had 13 points. In a hard fought game between two previously winless teams, SLUC Nancy edged Proximus Spirou Charleroi 67-63. Nancy went in front 57-46 with a 14-0 run that ended the third quarter and started off the fourth, but Spirou responded with a 3-15 run to regain the lead. However, in the final three minutes, the hosts made 7 of 8 free throws and pulled out a victory. Bandja Sy paced Nancy with 15 points and Florent Pietrus grabbed 11 rebounds as Nancy outrebounded Spirou 43-32.
In an All-Turkish showdown, Trabzonspor Medical Park downed Banvit Bandirma 96-88 at home on Wednesday. Andrija Stipanovic led the winners with 18 points and Tarence Kinsey added 17. Courtney Fortson led Banvit with 20 points. Banvit led 62-71 early in the fourth quarter but Dwight Hardy struck three times from downtown in a 15-0 run that put Trabzonspor ahead for good. Aris Thessaloniki edged Steaua CSM EximBank Bucharest 70-66. Okaro White led the winners with 15 points and Jake Cohen added 12, including a clutch three-point shot that sealed the outcome with 13 seconds left. Aris led 42-25 at halftime, but Steaua dominated the third quarter to get within 50-49. A layup by Bill Amis completed Steaua’s comeback at 54-55 with five minutes left. Steaua led 60-63 but a 7-0 run, which Cohen capped with a clutch triple, won it for Aris. Buducnost VOLI Podgorica beat Unics Kazan 73-63 in the Montenegrin capital. Suad Sehovic led the winners with 16 points. Buducnost claimed a 37-32 edge at halftime, extended it to 60-50 after three quarters and protected it till the end.
Zenit St. Petersburg held off Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius 65-70 to leave the Lithuanian capital with a perfect record. Zenit took charge early and led 23-45 at halftime. Rytas rallied in the second half to tie the game at 57-57. Zenit remained ahead and despite Rytas coming within 1 three times in the closing minutes the visitors held on for the victory. Artem Vikhrov and Zab Dowdell scored 17 points apiece to pace the winners. Besiktas Sompo Japan Istanbul beat Szolnoki Olaj 76-67. Nate Wolters led a balanced Besiktas attack with 15 points and 7 assists and Erik Murphy added 14 points and 7 rebounds. And Avtodor Saratov routed PAOK Thessaloniki 90-68. The first minutes of the game saw both teams fighting for the lead, but when the hosts managed to start hitting the threes, they pulled away for good. Travis Peterson led the winners with 23 points, including 5 of 7 threes, and Jeremy Chappell was close to a triple double with 10 points, 11 rebounds and 8 assists.
The group leader remains the same after undefeated Galatasaray Odeabank Istanbul beat Krasny Oktyabr Volgograd 72-88 on Wednesday. A crucial 0-11 run in the third quarter gave the visitors a comfortable margin and Galatasaray never looked back. Erick McCollum starred for the winners with 21 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists and 4 steals and Blake Schilb added 19 points and 9 assists. Neptunas Klaipeda edged Nizhny Novgorod 78-82 on the road. Nizhny built a 65-49 lead early in the fourth quarter before 16 unanswered points by Neptunas tied the game at 65-65. In a thrilling finish, Mindaugas Girdzinas’s free throw made it 77-78 before Arnas Butkevicius and Arvydas Siksnius were perfect from the line to seal the Neptunas victory. Butkevicius and Daniel Ewing led the winners with 12 points each. And Chris Warren’s free throw with 2.1 seconds left proved the difference as AEK Athens recorded a come-from-behind 75-74 victory over Hapoel Bank Yahav Jerusalem. The visitors led by 17 at halftime, but an 11-0 third-quarter run carried AEK back. The game came down to the final seconds and Matt Janning’s big triple with 5.6 seconds remaining to tie the game had seemingly forced overtime, but Warren drew a foul from D’Or Fischer and won it for the hosts. Warren finished with 15 points and 9 assists for AEK.