There were some big scores around the continent as the Eurochallenge Last 16 continued with Round 2 opening with six games. BC Astana went big by smashing a century of points on the way to a cruising win, while Avtodor Saratov and Tartu Rock shared 211 points in a minor classic. In the other contests, Aalstar Okapi, Usak, Antwerp, and Trabzonspor all collected home victories.
BC Astana notched its first Eurochallenge Last 16 win by crushing Energia Targu-Jiu Rovinari 113-89 in Kazakhstan. The hosts went big in each frame to win out 29-22, 28-23, 26-21, 30-23 on the scorecard, while Jerry Johnson’s double-double of 29 points and 13 assists provided the drive. Niklas Caner-Medley backed up Johnson with 25 points as Astana put in a proficient attacking display with 27 assists dished out on the night.
Group I is all square with all four clubs locked at 1-1 after Okapi Aalstar downed Enel Basket 86-81 at home. The hosts were actually trailing big at halftime, with Enel producing a fine display in the opening 20 minutes to lead 33-49. Okapi reversed that deficit in a barnstorming second half thanks to a 9-2 run in the third act and a 12-3 streak in the fourth.
Usak Sportif held firm against Magnofit Güssing Knights at home to claim a narrow 79-77, but the hosts did not edge it until late in the fourth. It was a high octane game and buckets were traded almost throughout, with the lead changing 18 times and the scoreboard locking equal 9 times. Ibrahim Yildrim drained from beyond the arc with 3:34 on the clock, and the hosts never looked back to ease to victory.
Group K threw up a Eurochallenge Last 16 classic as Tartu Rock picked up the only road win of the night, edging Avtodor 105-106. The high scoring encounter descended into overtime as the teams tied the score 94-94 through regulation time. In the added stanza the teams continued to trade scores, but the visitors edged in front with 65 seconds remaining and held the difference. Gert Dorbek led the winning effort with 24 points, but Janar Talts doubled up for the winners with 23 points and 11 boards.
Trabzonspor Medical Park took sole possession of first place in Group I with a 90-85 win over BC Enisey in Turkey. The home team served up 25 scoring passes through the game as they led for much of the game, despite a winning second half from Enisey. Andrija Stipanovic plundered 30 points for the winners, while Terrico White and Elmedin Kikanovic grabbed 20 apiece for the downed visitors.
It was derby time in Group L on Tuesday as Belgian club Antwerp Giants played host to their compatriots from Mons-Hainaut Belfius and won out 82-75. The hosts scored the last 10 points of the game, the biggest streak of the contest, to snatch victory in the fourth quarter. More remarkably, it was Ryan Pearson who took all of those points for the home team, a game winning performance from the American. He helped himself to 23 points and 8 rebounds in total.