No major surprises yesterday in Day 1 of 2013 Eurochallenge Final Four in Izmir, Turkey. The big favourites of the tournaments Krasnye Krylia beat Gravelines while the home team of Pinar Karsiyaka rewarded their fans by overcoming EWE Baskets.
In the first semi final of the evening the Samara based Russian club held off the French team of Gravelines, who did put up a better than expected.
It was however the individual quality of Krasnye Krylia’s players which made the diffrence in the end. Omar Thomas was unstoppable with 28 points.
It was generally a close game and in fact the two teams were tied with less than 6 minutes on the clock before the Russians made their final run.
Their coach and old international star for Russia NT, Sergey Bazarevich stated: “”We scored a good number of points from fast breaks, which helped us to win. BCM have good individual players and in the fourth quarter there was a moment when I thought they’d make everything. It was important for us to get the stops and not to break.”
However the game of the night was that between the host team of Pinar Karsiyaka and their German counterparts of EWE Baskets. In an absolutely overpacked and sold-out arena Karsiyaka got what they wanted, the ticket to the final.
The home side took advantage of their deeper bench and three of their Americans scoring double digits and took the game way down the road, literally in the last minute. The tremendous effort by EWE Baskets’ Adam Chubb (19 point and 8 rebounds) were simply not enough to keep Karsiyaka out of the final in their home ground.
A former international basketball feature as a player and now as a coach Ufuk Sarica had this to say about the game: “”This is an important night for us and for Turkish basketball. We felt the pressure of playing on our home court. Our offense was not great today, but we are a good defensive team for these kind of days; we kept a good offensive team to 62 points. I think that we deserve to be here and I hope that we will lift the trophy in front of our fans.”
The final between Krasnye Krylia and Pinar Kasiyaka is scheduled for 18:00 CET tomorrow.