It was a shocking day in the Basketball Champions League 2021-22 Qualifying Rounds, with clubs like Brose Bamberg, Mornar Bar, and Peristeri ending their runs in Semi-Finals of their respective tournaments.
Bamberg suffered the biggest of upsets because of the way they lost their matchup with Uniclub Casino – Juventus. The German juggernauts were up by 20 points with two minutes to play in the third quarter, but fell apart completely over the last 12 minutes, allowing the Lithuanians to pick up an 83-79 win in Tallinn, Estonia.
Uniclub Casino – Juventus is now a win away from the Regular Season, and they are about to face the hosts BC Kalev/Cramo in the Final. The Estonian powerhouse showed no signs of slowing down against Mornar Bar, picking up a 104-89 win over the Montenegrin team.
In another game, Greek team Peristeri wasn’t successful while hosting a tournament in 2021. They found out first hand how tough U-BT Cluj Napoca is as a team, as the Romanian champions won the Semi-Finals in Greece 84-74.
Elijah Stewart led the way with 17 points, Patrick Richard paired up 15 and 12 in points and assists for a solid double-double, and the Croatia-BIH combo did their part too. Toni Katic had 16 points and 5 assists, Andrija Stipanovic finished with 13 points and 7 rebounds, keeping coach Mihai Silvasan satisfied next to the court.
However, Katic and Stipanovic will not be facing their ex-club in the Final, because KK Split lost the other Semi-Finals tie in Peristeri. Fribourg Olympic looked like the more experienced team, holding on for a 76-67 win to set up a date with U-BT Cluj Napoca in the Final.
ZZ Leiden suffered a 69-67 defeat to the hands of perennial Belarus champs Tsmoki-Minsk.
Worthy de Jong won the game for the Dutch champs on Monday, but his potential game-winning three-pointer did not drop on Wednesday, allowing Tsmoki-Minsk and coach Rostislav Vergun to start celebrating a memorable win that puts them within 40 minutes of another Regular Season appearance.
Tsmoki-Minsk will now face Nutribullet Treviso in the Final of the tournament in Italy. The hosts had their share of drama against the Bakken Bears, almost dropping an eight-point lead over the last 80 seconds of the game, but in the end, Nutribullet Treviso won, 92-90.
With less than a second remaining on the game clock. With 0.3 to go, Giordano Bortolani had the smart decision to miss the second free throw, which meant Bakken could not advance the ball. As a result, Treviso secured the win, which means they are 40 minutes away from a place in the Regular Season.
On Thursday, action continues with the Semi-Finals in Sofia, Bulgaria. Finalists from Czech League Opava face the Ukrainian champions BC Prometey, while French squad Le Mans are up against the Russian outfit Parma-Parimatch.