Budivelnik Kiev advanced the Eurocup quarter-finals after they sweeped Nanterre over two legs by beating them 76-71 in Paris’ western suburbs and 162-153 on aggregate.
The Ukrainians got the victory, despite committing 29 turnovers, a Eurocup record. But their French counterparts were unable to take advantage of Kiev’s shoddy ball security in order to go through and instead find themselves with the domestic season only to play for.
For Budivielnik, they play in the Eurocup last eight for the second time in two seasons. A team who might have to face the rest of the season playing in venues away from the Ukraine due to the political unrest but a team who also has displayed true heart and determination over these two legs. Something the whole of the Ukraine can be truly proud of.
DaJuan Summers led Kiev with 18 points but it was Darjus Lavrinovic and Arthur Drozdov who won the game for the visitors, as they iced the game from the free throw line after seeing their double-digit lead vanish thanks to a fourth quarter fight back from Nanterre.
“It was a tough game for both teams,” Kiev coach Ainars Bagatskis said. “We controlled the game for 32 minutes, played good defence and controlled in offence.
“Nanterre plays unorthodox basketball with many three-pointers, and their comeback was dangerous. I’m very glad we made it to the next phase after such a tough match-up.”
Deshaun Thomas led Nanterre with 17 points.
Alba Berlin had to come from behind against a brave Dinamo Sassari attack, but in the end prevailed by winning 96-93 on the night in the German capital and 187-176 on aggregate.
Trailing by eight points from the first leg, Sassari knew that they had nothing to lose, and attacked Alba from the opening tip. They were made to wait, but the Italian side established a deserved 57-44 lead mid-way through the third quarter to take a 140-135 lead over the two legs.
The Germans stormed back, roared on by a crowd at the O2 World that were expecting a comfortable passage into the last eight, but instead saw their team fight for the spot instead.
“As expected, this was a very difficult game for us though we won in Sassari by eight,” said Alba Berlin coach Sasa Obradovic “In the first half we played without patience and smartness. We played with a lot of emotions, and not calm enough.
“In the second half our game looked a lot better and my players took the right decisions. I am happy that everybody on the roster contributed to the win. Advancing to the quarter-finals is really a great success for this team.”
Leon Radosevic led Berlin with 18 points and six rebounds and he inspired a 9-0 run in the third quarter when his side were trailing on aggregate.
Caleb Green led Sassari with 17 points as they bow out despite their efforts.