The Eurocup Eighthfinals began with some remarkable results. Four teams separated themselves with road wins and another game ended in a tie. In total, five of the games were decided by a single shot and another by just 4 points. Those results set the stage for even more exciting returns legs next week! The winners of the two-game total-points series move on to the Eurocup Quarterfinals.
Eighthfinal A: ALBA Berlin vs. FC Bayern Munich
German League foes ALBA Berlin and FC Bayern Munich played to an 82-82 tie in Game 1 of their series at Mercedes-Benz Arena in the German capital. It was their second meeting in four days after ALBA edged Bayern in Munich in the German Cup final on Sunday. ALBA led by as many as 9 in the third quarter and Bayern surged ahead to lead by 7 in the fourth before the game finished even. Elmedin Kikanovic paced the home team with 24 points, Jordan Taylor added 18 points, 5 assists and 5 steals and Dragan Milosavljevic tallied 17 points and 6 assists. Dusko Savanovic led Bayern with 15 points and 7 rebounds and Paul Zipser scored 14.
Eighthfinal B: Limoges CSP vs. Herbalife Gran Canaria Las Palmas
Herbalife Gran Canaria Las Palmas routed Limoges CSP 65-82 at Beaublanc on Wednesday to take a step towards the Eurocup Quarterfinals. Gran Canaria has a 17-point lead in its two-way series and hosts Game 2 next week. Sasu Salin led the winners with 18 points, D.J. Seeley added 16 while Brad Newley had 15 of 6-of-6 shooting for Gran Canaria. Leo Westermann and Nobel Boungou-Colo led Limoges with 13 points apiece. Salin scored the first 8 points of the game in leading a 0-11 Gran Canaria run. It was 11-22 after 10 minutes and the lead reached 16 before Bo McCalebb and Westermann stepped up for. A three-pointer by Will Daniels got the hosts as close as 37-40 but Newley, Salin and Alen Omic combined for 14 points in a 0-16 run that gave Gran Canaria to get a 44-62 margin after 30 minutes and essentially put the game – and perhaps the series – away.
Eighthfinal C: Strasbourg vs. EWE Baskets Oldenburg
Rickey Paulding scored 24 points as EWE Baskets Oldenburg held hold off Strasbourg 74-76 on the road in Game 1 of their Eurocup Eighthfinals series. Oldenburg can now qualify to the quarterfinals with a win, a tie, or a loss by one point in the return leg on home floor next week. For Strasbourg, this is the third consecutive loss in the competition after winning four in a row to start the Last 32. Oldenburg led for great majority of the contest, but never by more than 45-54 in the third quarter. Strasbourg answered with a 10-0 run that briefly put it in front 55-54, but the visitors soon regained the lead, and held on to it as the game went down to the wire. In addition to Paulding, Nemanja Aleksandrov and Brian Qvale were the main protagonists for the winners with 13 points apiece. For the hosts, Rodrigue Beaubois netted 17, and Paul Lacombe had 14.
Eighthfinal D: Banvit Bandirma vs. EA7 Emporio Armani Milan
Krunoslav Simon shined late as EA7 Emporio Armani Milan edged Banvit Bandirma 69-72 on the road. Simon scored 7 points on the final two minutes – including a pair of go-ahead shots – to lead Milan, which trailed by as many as 10 in the third quarter. The lead changed hands six times alone in the fourth quarter, which ended with the visitors 2-9 run to grab the victory. The two teams meet again next week for the second leg, in which Milan will advance to the quarterfinals if it wins or loses by less than 3. Rakim Sanders led five Milan scorers in double figures with 19 points and 4 steals, while Simon finished with 15 points and 5 assists for the winners. Courtney Fortson paced Banvit with 18 points, 7 assists and 4 steals.
Eighthfinal E: CAI Zaragoza vs. Dolomiti Energia Trento
A big basket by Tomas Bellas with 0.7 seconds left broke a tie as CAI Zaragoza edged Dolomiti Energia Trento 85-83. The series concludes next week in Italy, where Trento must win by a minimum of 3 points to extend its fantastic Eurocup debut season. Trent Lockett led a 2-13 run that gave Trento an early 6-13 lead. Davide Pascolo and Dominique Sutton helped the visitors to a double-digit margin, 18-28, after 10 minutes. Slava Kravtsov and Joan Sastre stepped up to bring CAI as close as 44-45 at halftime. Henk Norel and Pere Tomas shined after the break and a three-pointer by Sastre gave the hosts a 63-55 advantage, which Trento cut to 68-66 after 30 minutes. Tomas gave CAI an 83-78 lead but Pascolo and Jamarr Sanders tied it at 83-83 before Bellas won the game. Bellas and Slava Kravtsov led the winners with 14 points apiece, while Julian Wright scored 22 for Trento.
Eighthfinal F: Nizhny Novgorod vs. Zenit St. Petersburg
In a one-sided series opener, Nizhny Novgorod routed Zenit St. Petersburg 102-76 at CEC Nagorny. Nizhny now takes its 26-point lead to St. Petersburg for the second leg. Victor Rudd struck three times from downtown in a 19-2 run that gave Nizhny a 27-12 lead after 10 minutes. Rudd got plenty of help from Ivan Strebkov, who had 10 points in the second quarter, and Semen Antonov to break the game open at 54-28. The lead peaked at 83-50 on a Rudd layup at the end of the third quarter. Rudd led the winners with 28 points and Strebkov added 21. Zab Dowdell paced Zenit with 15 points and Janis Timma added 11 points and 17 rebounds.
Eighthfinal G: Stelmet Zielona Gora vs. Unics Kazan
Former champion Unics Kazan rallied to defeat Stelmet Zielona Gora 68-72 and take a big step towards a place in the next stage. A win or a loss by less than 4 points on its home court next week will send Unics into the Eurocup quarterfinals, which it has reached in each of its last four appearances in the competition. Zeilona Gora led by 28-15 in the second quarter, but Quino Colom led a Unics charge to cut it to 35-30 at halftime, before he teamed with Keith Langford to ignite a rally that put the visitors up for good in the third quarter. Latavious Williams sealed the deal in the final minutes of the game. Colom finished with 17 points and 11 assists. Langford scored 19 points, and Williams collected 15 points plus 8 rebounds for the winners. Mateusz Ponitka scored 21 for the hosts.
Eighthfinal H: Pinar Karsiyaka Izmir vs. Galatasaray Odeabank Istanbul
In a clash of Turkish clubs, Pinar Karsiyaka Izmir edged Galatasaray Odeabank Istanbul 67-64 in Game 1 of the Eurocup Eighthfinals at the packed Karsiyaka Arena. Karsiyaka led by as many as 11 points in the first half and had control of the game for 35 minutes, but a 3-14 fourth-quarter run put Galatasaray briefly in front in the late stages of the game. Colton Iverson and Bracey Wright ensured the hosts of taking a slim advantage into the second leg of the series. Iverson paced Karsiyaka with 16 points and 10 rebounds and Kenny Gabriel had 13 points, 5 assists and 3 steals in the victory. Errick McCollum amassed 21 points and 13 rebounds for Galatasaray.