Eurocup 2015-16 round up (week 6)

The second meetings of the season between group opponents and the first possibilities for qualification to the Last 32 highlight a big Regular Season Round 6 in the Eurocup. Three big games on Tuesday start the action, then 15 more keep the party going on Wednesday.

GROUP A

Newcomer Dolomiti Energia Trento beat Union Olimpija Ljubljana 90-77, after rallying from a 14-point deficit on Wednesday night. Trento used a 21-7 third-quarter spurt to turn a double-digit deficit into a 61-58 lead and then quickly extended its advantage into double digits. Trent Lockett scored 16 of his 19 points in the second half, and Davide Pascolo scored all of his 13 in the last two quarters to lead the hosts. Trento holds 4-2 lead in a share of the lead with Dominion Bilbao Basket, which routed JSF Nanterre 52-83 on the road on Tuesday. After starting with a 0-13 lead, the men in black cruised the rest of the way in improving to 4-2. Clevin Hannah led the winners with 20 points and Alex Mumbru and Alex Suarez scored 14 points apiece. In an all-German showdown, EWE Baskets Oldenburg downed Telekom Baskets Bonn 77-70 to improve its chances of reaching the Last 32. Chris Kramer and Brian Qvale led the winners with 14 points each.

GROUP B

Herbalife Gran Canaria Las Palmas scored a 77-62 victory over Le Mans Sarthe Basket to take sole possession of first place in the group and come on the verge of qualifying to the Last 32. After trailing by 3 at halftime, Gran Canaria used a strong third quarter to take control and led by as many as 17 after a pair of Albert Oliver baskets to start the fourth quarter. Chris Lofton singlehandedly outscored Gran Canaria 2-13 early in the fourth quarter to give Le Mans a chance at 61-55, but the hosts used triples from Xavi Rabaseda and Kevin Pangos to ice the victory. Alen Omic paced the winners with 18 points and 8 rebounds. MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg swept German League rival ALBA Berlin 79-90 at Mercedes-Benz Arena in the German capital on Tuesday. Brad Loesing scored 18, David McCray 16, Royce O’Neale 14 and Mustafa Shakur collected 12 points and 10 assists for the winners, who led from start to finish after scoring the game’s first 8 points. In an all-Italian showdown on Wednesday, Enel Basket Brindisi beat Grissin Bon Reggio Emilia 86-81 for its first ever Eurocup victory. The teams traded leads throughout the second half and midway into the fourth quarter before Adrian Banks and Durand Scott made key baskets to put the hosts in lead for good. Banks scored 25 points to lead in victory and Alex Harris had 18 points for Brindisi.

GROUP C

Valencia Basket triumphed 77-65 over SLUC Nancy to become the first team that clinched a Last 32 berth. Rafa Martinez and Sam Van Rossom hit three-pointers to spark a fourth-quarter 12-2 run that gave Valencia a lead it never relinquished and help it remain unbeaten with a 6-0 record. Van Rossom led the winners with 17 points, while Justin Hamilton contributed 15 points and 4 steals. Umana Reyer Venice topped ratiopharm Ulm 90-78. Jeff Viggiano and Michael Bramos combined to hit 6 triples in the final quarter and lead the hosts to victory. Both finished with 16 points, Viggiano shot 4-for-6 from long range, while Bramos hit 4 of 4 triples in the final 5:09 of the game. Phillip Goss paced Venice with 22 points. Proximus Spirou Charleroi beat CAI Zaragoza 80-69 for its first win of the Eurocup campaign. Spirou took the lead for good 40 seconds into the game, but did not pull away for good until midway through the fourth quarter. Billy Baron paced the winners with 17 points and Jimmy Baron and Seamus Boxley each scored 14.

GROUP D

Theodoros Zaras made 5 of 7 three-pointers en route to 23 points as Aris Thessaloniki defeated Trabzonspor Medical Park 78-70 to remain unbeaten at home. The outcome also gave Aris the potential tiebreak advantage over Trabzonspor, which won their Round 1 meeting by 3. Jamelle Hagins added 18 points and 8 rebounds for the winners, who took the lead late in the first quarter and led by as many as 15 in the fourth before Trabzonspor rallied. Unics Kazan downed Steaua CSM EximBank Bucharest 71-88 in the Romanian capital. Keith Langford led the winners with 23 points and 8 rebounds, Marko Banic added 19 points on 9-of-10 two-point shooting and Artsiom Parakhouski posted a double-double for Unics., whose 1-10 second-quarter run put it ahead for good. Banvit Bandirma held off Buducnost VOLI Podgorica 76-68. Gasper Vidmar scored 18 points and Adrien Moerman posted 11 points and 14 rebounds for Banvit. Buducnost did manage to salvage the potential tiebreaker between the teams because it won their Round 1 clash by 13. The hosts used a 10-0 run that bridged the first and second quarters to take the lead for good and an 11-0 run to finish the second for a 45-26 halftime advantage. Buducnost rallied late to get within 5, but ran out of steam in the closing minutes.

GROUP E

Avtodor Saratov toppled previously undefeated Zenit St. Petersburg 81-88 on the road. The win lifted Avtodor to second place in their group with a 4-2 record, though Zenit, despite suffering its first loss of the season, remains atop the table at 5-1. The game was very close and after a 68-64 advantage for the home team early in the fourth quarter, the visitors used a 3-18 run to claim the victory. Jeremy Chappell was the main contributor for Saratov with 21 points and 7 rebounds. Szolnok Olaj beat PAOK Thessaloniki 76-69 after trailing by as many as 19. Szolonk also claimed the potential tiebreak advantage between them. A 6-25 run bridging halftime gave a 26-45 advantage to PAOK at the midway point of the third quarter, but Szolnok did not give up and with a furious comeback in the last quarter took a 65-64 lead and never looked back, scoring 37 points in the last 10 minutes. David Vojvoda led the way for the winners by scoring 13 of his 15 points in the last quarter. Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius downed Besiktas Sompo Japan Istanbul 92-103 on the road. Ksistof Lavrinovic paced the winners with 28 points and just 2 missed shots. The hosts led 27-23 after 10 minutes and kept a 52-49 margin at halftime. Lavrinovic and Adas Juskevicius led a 1-10 run which gave the guests a 68-76 margin, which Rytas extended to 79-90 late in the fourth quarter.

GROUP F

Three games featured three important road victories in Group F. AEK Athens escaped from Volgograd with a 78-82 overtime victory over Krasny Oktyabr and took a big step toward a spot in the Last 32. AEK raised its record to 4-2. Loukas Mavrokefalides forced the game to overtime and Malik Hairston scored a crucial three to push his side to victory. Mavrokefalides amassed a double-double of 28 points and 10 rebounds, while Malik Hairston added 16 points. A great losing effort came from DJ Cooper, who finished with 27 points, 11 rebounds and 8 assists. Neptunas Klaipeda downed previously undefeated Galatasaray Odeabank Istanbul 76-82. Daniel Ewing led the winners with 21 points – including 8 points in a 2-14 run that gave Neptunas 47-56 margin right after halftime and paved the way for the visitors’ victory. Travis Bader added 15 on 5-of-5 three-point shots for Neptunas, while Errick McCollum led Galatasaray with 30 points on 8-of-8 two-point shots and 14-of-14 free throw attempts. In a pivotal battle that went down to the wire, Nizhny Novgorod edged Hapoel Bank Yahav Jerusalem 70-74. Nizhny took the lead for good late in the second quarter, then lived dangerously throughout the second half, but prevailed by hitting clutch free throws in the final minutes. Dmitry Khvostov shot 7-for-8 from long range on his way to 23 points. Donta Smith led Jerusalem with 23 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists and 5 steals.