Over the weekend many domestic 2016 European Cups were held across various domestic leagues. Some familiar teams took home the gold, while some others even cemented winning streaks to add to their growing legacy. Here is a roundup of some of the exciting and entertaining basketball action that took place.
Copa del Rey: Real Madrid vs. Gran Canaria, 85-81
European powerhouse Real Madrid bagged the Copa del Rey title for 2016. They defeated Gran Canaria 85-81. As expected Real Madrid got off to a hot first-quarter start, but Gran Canaria chipped at the lead in the second frame. In the end, a huge explosion in the fourth and final period was what catapulted one of Spain’s most popular basketball franchises to victory. Gustavo Ayon led Real Madrid with 15 points. Gran Canaria’s Albert Oliver finished with a game-high 16 points.
Turkish Cup: Fenerbahce vs. Darussafaka, 67-65
Fenerbahce Ulker Istanbul was able to hold off a tough challenger in the form of Darussafaka Dogus Istanbul, 67-65. The match was close and very exciting for the most part. Fenerbahce established an early three point lead at the end of the first quarter and increased it to six points by halftime, 38-32. The third frame remained a closely contested one for both clubs. Fenerbahce managed to fend off a late surge by Darussafaka in the last quarter and held on for the victory. Bogdan Bogdanovic was instrumental in Fenerbahce’s win. He poured in 21 points to lead all scorers and the team’s offense ran through him throughout most of the contest.
Coppa Italia 2016: EA7 Emporio Armani Milano vs. Scandone Avellino, 82-76
Rakim Sanders anchored a solid defensive effort by EA7 Armani to help them take home the Coppa Italia title this 2016. The current Italian Serie A league leaders looked sharp as they executed a finely tuned gameplan from the get-go. They came out with some stifling pressure defense which forced seven early turnovers from Avellino. Sanders led the charge for his club with a 17-point, six-rebound effort and he was rewarded with MVP honors at the end of the contest. A concerted team effort by Armani allowed them to overcome a monster game from Avellino’s James Nunally, who finished with a game-high 25 points. Sadly, his heroics were not enough to carry his team to victory in this one. Sanders made the most of a strong fourth quarter to help seal the win for his team.
Lithuanian Cup: Lietuvos Rytas vs. Zalgiris Kaunas, 67-57
The Lithuanian Cup was a duel between two of league rivals. Much to the delight of their respective supporters in attendance the teams did not disappoint. Lietuvos Rytas managed to keep control of the game all throughout. They set a fast early pace and ended up ahead 20-17 at the end of the first quarter. League leader Zalgiris did their best to fight back in the second frame. However, after the halftime break it was all Lietuvos rytas all the way. They continued their aggressive attack and did not relent. They rode on the shoulders of Antanas Kavaliauskas who was unstoppable with 20 points for the game. It was a bitter pill to swallow for Zalgiris, but you can easily expect them to come back strong next year.
BBL Cup 2016: ALBA Berlin vs. Bayern Munich, 67-65
Visiting ALBA Berlin got a huge boost of momentum as they claimed the 2016 BBL Cup thanks to a 67-65 win over Bayern Munich. The Berlin franchise has had recent struggles in the German BBL. They recently fell to sixth place with their 15-7 record after a hot start to the 2015-16 season. This win against one of the league’s elite teams might just be what they need for a 180-degree turnaround. Bayern Munich used a big rally in the second period to set up a 34-25 lead as both clubs headed to their locker rooms for the halftime break. ALBA Berlin changed gears in the third frame and clamped down on defense, narrowing Munich’s advantage. A go-ahead layup by ALBA Berlin’s Dragan Milosavljevic with five seconds remaining clinched the win. He ended up the game with 11 points. It was the duo of Elmedin Kikanovic and Jordan Taylor that carried most of the scoring burden for the victors. They finished the game with 19 and 18 points, respectively.
Slovenian Cup: Krka vs. Lastovka, 66-33
This was an easy win for Krk Novo Mesto. The Slovenian powerhouse achieved a three-peat of winning the Slovenian Cup. They continue to be one of the more dominant teams when it comes to domestic basketball action. The lopsided victory was one for the history books. The 33 points posted by Lastovka was the lowest ever in the Cup’s history. Luka Lapornik led Krka with 13 points.
French Leaders Cup 2016: Monaco vs. ES Chalon-sur-Saone, 99-74
A strong and impressive team effort by Monaco allowed them to come away with this dominant win over one of the French Pro A’s Top 8 teams in Chalon. Jamal Shuler dominated the game from start to finish. He basically had his way with the Chalon defense (or lack thereof) and posted 31 points to lead all scorers. The first half was a back-and forth encounter as both clubs traded quarters. In the second half Monaco surged ahead and did not look back. Some credit goes to their impressive defense in the fourth and final frame to secure the win.