The first four spots in the Second Round of the 2021-22 FIBA Europe Cup season were confirmed on Wednesday as four teams maintained their perfect records.
Avtodor Saratov needed overtime to cement a top-two finish in Group C as they outlasted Casademont Zaragoza in a 92-86 victory on the road. Jaron Johnson netted 20 points off the bench with five players in double figures, including Zeljko Sakic, who had a double-double of 18 points and 12 rebounds.
The Russian side had led by as many as 14 points in the contest, but Zaragoza bounced back to force an extra period, with Stan Okoye helping lead the fightback and ending up with 26 points in defeat.
Earlier, Legia Warszawa had been first to secure their place in the next phase as they overcame a slow start to defeat CSM CSU Oradea for a 75-68 success. Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman fired in 32 points in the win with five triples as the hosts produced a strong second-half display to move to 4-0 in Group H.
“The first half was not good for us, but fortunately, after the break, we played as we should have. We are very happy that we remain unbeaten and have already advanced to the top 16 stage,” said Legia head coach Wojciech Kaminski.
London Lions continued their dream debut in the competition as they made it four wins from four with an 85-67 comeback victory at home to Donar Groningen. They recovered from an 11-point deficit in the first half, with Marquis Teague and Isaiah Reese combining for 33 points after Dirk Williams led the charge in a pivotal third period.
Bahcesehir College was also made to work hard to record their fourth successive victory as they earned a 95-86 triumph away at Mornar Bar. Jamar Smith top-scored again with 22 points as the Turkish side closed out the win with 29 points in the fourth, having opened with 34 in the first quarter.
Kyiv-Basket enjoyed late drama on the road in Group B as Mike Caffey’s game-winning three secured a 66-65 success at Trefl Sopot, while Rilski Sportist made it two wins in a row as they beat Hapoel Eilat 86-83 away from home with Aleks Simeonov posting 20 points and ten rebounds.
All four teams in Group G now have a 2-2 record after the top two teams heading into Wednesday were both beaten. Peristeri Vitabiotics claimed an 80-70 win over Tsmoki-Minsk, despite 27 points from Angelo Warner, while Bakken Bears impressed on the road to beat HAKRO Merlins Crailsheim, 86-77 – outscoring their opponents by 10 in the fourth.
Benfica moved to the top of Group C with a thrilling 78-76 win away at Heroes Den Bosch as Aaron Broussard came up clutch, while another Dutch side ZZ Leiden did enjoy some success with a 92-83 victory on the road against Iraklis BC, who saw their hopes of advancing from Group E come to an end.
medi Bayreuth boosted their hopes of joining the Lions in the next phase from Group A as they held off Kapfenberg Bulls for an 83-79 victory in the first of three remaining home games. Unahotels Reggio Emilia also improved to 3-1 in Group D after overcoming Hapoel Gilboa Galil for an 87-70 road victory, with Justin Johnson netting 23 points.
Telenet Giants Antwerp missed their chance to punch a ticket through to the Second Round as they were comfortably beaten 77-53 away at Sporting CP. The Portuguese side joined their opponents on a 3-1 record at the top of Group F, with Travante Williams leading the way with 27 points, nine assists, and five steals in the win.
On Tuesday, Belfius Mons-Hainaut battled back from 16 points down to beat Ionikos 77-74 in Athens behind a 30-point haul from Emmanuel Nzekwesi.
The action continues on Thursday with the final two games on Gameday 4, with Opava taking on Parma-Parimatch and FC Porto facing Szolnok.