Eurocup Last 32, Round 2 recap

Eurocup Last 32The Eurocup Last 32 entered its second round on Wednesday with a busy schedule of games all around the Old Continent. There was plenty to interest hoops fans as the title contenders flexed their muscles and other clubs got back on track after shaky openings in the Eurocup Last 32 a week ago.

Group G
Bayern Munich stayed undefeated in the Eurocup Last 32 with a comfortable 83-69 home win over Ratiopharm Ulm in an all-German clash. Bayern stayed consistent and drained 48 points in the first half for a 12 point lead, before wrapping it up with a professional second half. Bryce Taylor led the winning effort with 18 points.

Banvit collected a 76-85 road win in Bilbao to put both these clubs on 1-1 records. After Bilbao reeled off 28 points in the second half the hosts led 44-36 at halftime and Banvit looked outclassed. The Turkish club responded and plundered a huge 32 points in the fourth to win the game, with Adrian Moerman nailing 25 points to drive the visitors.

Group H
Hapoel Jerusalem slipped at home to Herbalife Gran Canaria Las Palmas, the Spanish team just too good as it romped to a 64-75 win. The success was largely built in the second act, as Gran Canaria nailed 28 points and Hapoel Jerusalem slumped on 13 points. The hosts had too much to do despite rallying in the second half and making it interesting.

Strasbourg stayed untouched in Group B with a narrow 77-74 home win over dangerous Avtodor Saratov in France. Mardy Collins paced the victory with 19 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists as the hosts almost threw away a 14 points three quarter lead before hanging on at the end as Saratov missed a game tying triple.

Group I
EWE Baskets Oldenburg impressed last week, but in Round 2 of the Eurocup Last 32 the German clubs came against a Valencia team that is in the process of putting together an unbeaten season at home and abroad. So, as it was, the three time Eurocup champs travelled to Germany and left with a huge 89-109 victory. Antoine Diote run an offensive masterclass with 25 points and 8 scoring passes.

Group J
Neptunas Klaipeda made it all even in Group J with a 73-65 win over ALBA Berlin that locked the standings 1-1 for each club. The hosts won the first quarter 20-9 and then bookended the win with a 23-13 run in the fourth that wrapped up the contest to send ALBA back to Germany with nothing to show from a trip to Lithuania.

Group K
Trabzonspor outplayed Trento at home in Turkey to register its first victory of the Last 32 phase. The home team won 92-70 and just blazed through the game, winning every quarter to put their opponents from Italy to the sword. Dwight Hardy went close to a double-double as he turned the offensive screw with 23 points and 9 assists.

Grissin Bon Reggio Emilia took out Pinar Karsiyaka Izmir 88-81 at home to hand the Turkish champs their first defeat of this stage. Pietro Aradori paced the winning effort with 22 points and 7 boards, helping Emilia stay one step ahead of the visitors for much of the game.

Group L
Zenit St. Petersburg put its weekend smashing in the VTB League to one side with an 83-80 win over RIESEN Ludwigsburg, a success that kept the Russians unbeaten in the Eurocup Last 32. Ryan Toolson decided the game from the charity strip late on as Zenit held strong after leading for large portions of the game.

Umana Reyer Venice had too much for Stelmet Zielona Gora on the road, coming away from Poland with an 83-92. The visitors from Italy were 46-39 down at halftime, but a double-double of 24 points and 11 assists from Mike Green saw Venice race through the second half with 52 points that decided the matchup.

Group M
Maccabi Tel Aviv is a contender for the Eurocup and the Israeli giant (the biggest club in the competition) defeated Nizhny Novgorod 83-87 on the road to move to 2-0 in Group M. Trevor Mbakwe doubled up in the win with 10 points and 14 rebounds, helping Tel Aviv pull away from the Russian hosts in the fourth frame after the teams locked 63-63 through thirty minutes.

Unics Kazan downed Union Olimpija Ljubljana 83-89 on the road to join Tel Aviv with an unblemished Last 32 record. The visitors relied on a 36-41 winning first half and kept pace with Union Olimpija in the second, including both teams draining buckets in a 27-28 final act.

Group N
CAI Zaragoza put Szolnoki Olaj to the sword in Spain with an 88-60 home victory. The hosts erupted form the tip off and in the first half streamed in 53 points for a 26 points advantage through the long break. Olaj actually won the second half, but Zaragoza’s advantage was too big and the Spaniards cruised to victory.

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