All set for the Last 16 in Eurocup

Eight teams sealed the deal last night to advance for the next round in the last week of regular season.

Last additions to Last 16 were found last night where Budivelnik and Nymburk from Group A, Buducnost in Group B, VEF Riga from Group C, Banvit in Group D, Lokomotiv from Group E, Ulm from Group G and Cajasol in Group H all celebrate the continuation in this competition.

We start our journey in Czech Republic where despite losing the game against Hapoel Jerusalem 74-82, the home team celebrated a spot in the next round. Raviv Lemonad and Josh Duncan were the main guys for the Israelis finish with 20 and 17 points, respectively.

Still in Group A, Budivelnik became the group champion with a win at BC Prienai home 73-84. Michali Anisimov was the star finishing the game with a perfect shooting display with 16 points and 8 boards.

Going into the Group B, Lokoil Academic – KK Buducnost battle was an elimination game for one of these teams and the visitors claimed an amazing 55-74 win. A 10 point run in the second quarter was the moment of the game for Budcnost who had Gerald Lee leading their way with 18 points.

In Bilbao the home team continues to be perfect in this year competition after an 85-84 win against Spirou Belgacom. The Belgians leave Eurocup without a single win even with some good displays. Lamont Hamilton had 22 points and 7 boards but the man of the game came from the visitors where Matt Walsh had an index rating of 43, finishing with 27 points and 14 rebounds.

Following the undefeated record teams we go to Group C, where BC Triumph got a 94-95 win against Artland Dragons in a tremendous game. In a game that went to overtime, Yuvay had 26 points but Tasamin Mitchell was the player on the clutch finishing 24 points for the Russians.

France was the place for a thriller, where Le Mans and VEF Riga collided for the last spot in their group. El Amin couldn’t make the game winner shoot for the French and with that VEF Riga claimed a 67-69 on the road. Kristaps Janicenoks paced the offense for Riga with 18 points and veteran El Amin finished with 24 points with 8 dished assists.

In another battle to decide who advanced to the next round, Banvit got a convinced win on the road against Wurzburg 62-81. With a 0-15 start of the game, Banvit never looked back and always controlled the game for minute 1. Chuck Davis finished with 22 points and Sammy Mejia filled the stat sheet with 17 points, 8 boards, 3 assists and 3 steals performance.

Flying to Spain, Valencia annihilated BC Azovmash in a 93-68 win to finish the regular season in great style at home. The Spanish team used a tremendous start in a 24-0 run to grab a comfortable lead and never felt a threat by the Ukrainians. Bojan Dubljevic was the main option on offense with 26 points and 8 boards for Valencia.

BC Donetsk (3-2) 88-81 against Galatasaray overtime was not enough to advance this group stage since Lokomotiv also claimed a win to finish with a 4-2 record. In Kiev the home team led for most part of the game but with a late run the regulation time ended with a 70-70 tie. In the overtime D’or Fisher (19 points and 9 boards) and Ramel Curry (18 points and 5 boards) seal the deal to finish this year’s competition in a winning streak.

Lokomotiv Kuban grabbed the last spot in Group E after a 70-87 win in Poland against Trefl Sopot. The Russians had a 22 point-lead at the halftime that was the key to get this win, with a MVP performance of the ex-NBA player Derrick Brown who ended the game with 34 points.

In a game where both teams knew their destiny, Panionios got their second win in Eurocup this season after an 84-85 defeating Stelmet Zielona on the road. Rising star Nikos Pappas continued to showcase his potential finishing with 21 points, 3 assists and 3 steals for the Greek squad.

Unicks Kazan improved to a 5-1 record in Group F with a 67-74 win in Belgium against Telenet Oostende. Kazan, former Eurocup winner, had in Ian Vougioukas the lead player with 18 points and in his debut for the Russians Mike Wilikinson had 16 points in 18 minutes.

Group G has also one of the undefeated teams in Spartak St. Petersburg who knocked out of Last 16 Chole Basket 68-76. With a 0-19 run between the third and fourth quarters, the Russians cut a 10 point deficit established themselves in front until the time expired. Mavrokefalides, Carter and former MVP Beverly finished all with 15 points apiece for the Spartak.

The story of the night came from Zagreb, Croatia but not in a good way for the hosts. Cibona had a 24 point lead in the game but let Ratiopharm Ulm get a must-win 81-86 victory to advance to the next stage of this year Eurocup. Ulm had 5 players in double digits to rally from a huge deficit and continue to embarrass the home who his having a horrible season.

Finally we go to Group H where playing in Italy against Banco Di Sardegna the French team of Orleans Loiret Basket outplayed the home squad for a 71-95 win. With this victory Orleans had to wait for a loss from Cajasol to advance for the next round, something that didn’t happen. Brian Greene led the winning team with 23 points and a good display offensively.

We finish this journey around the Europe in great style with a huge thriller in Belgrade where Cajasol survived down the wire for a 70-76 win and most important a ticket in their hands for the Last 16. Crvena Zvezda only loss in the regular season was in Week 6 came after with great performances from Luka Bogdanovic and John Holland who finished with 16 and 14 points respectively.