Five more teams punched their tickets to the Eighthfinals of the 2015/2016 Eurocup this week as round 5 of the Last 32 brought action aplenty. It was the penultimate round of the group phase and next week we will see the last 16 picture complete, but there is still a lot to play for across Groups G through N.
Bayern Munich reached the next round with a 77-62 home win over Banvit Bandirma, led by Nihad Djedovic with 28 points and 6 rebounds. Turkish club Banvit now faces a do or die clash against Dominion Bilbao Basket next week. The two clubs share a 3-2 record in Group G after Bilbao tore apart Ratiopharm Ulm 83-65 at home, knocking the German club out in the process.
Already qualified Strasbourg was undone at home in France by Gran Canaria Las Palmas, with the Spanish guests winning 68-79 to put the icing on their Eurocup Eighthfinal qualification last week. Group H was already shut before this week’s action, so the clash between Hapoel Jerusalem and Avtodor Saratov was a dead rubber. The Russians of Saratov won comfortably 94-103 away from home.
EWE Baskets Oldenburg outfought Limoges CSP 92-88 at home to progress to the next phase, continuing the German clubs best ever run in the Eurocup; Oldenburg had never left the Regular Season before 2015/2016. The story of the night was in Greece as PAOK Thessaloniki defeated Valencia 75-72 to remain in the hunt, with the two teams locked with Limoges and heading to a tense final week.
EA7 Milan came from behind to down ALBA Berlin 92-79, the Italian champs winning their fourth on the bounce and also clinching first place in Group J. ALBA Berlin will now fight with Neptunas Klaipeda next week in a winner takes all encounter in Germany. Lithuanian club Neptunas was on the verge of elimination, but fought back to defeat Aris Thessaloniki 72-68 at home.
Dolomiti Energia Trento is having a debut Eurocup season to remember, defeating Reggio Emilia 72-84 on the road in an all-Italian clash. The win confirmed Trento for the Eigthfinals and meant the team locked down first position in Group K. The win was built on a huge 0-18 surge in the third act.
Zenit St. Petersburg punched its ticket to the next round and nailed first place in Group L with a classy 79-72 home win over Umana Reyer Venice, in a game held in CSKA Moscow’s home floor in the Russian capital. Venice is now in a three way fight for the final last 16 spot alongside MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg and Stelmet Zielona Gora. In the other clash, Gora defeated Ludwigsburg 76-81 on the road.
Already qualified Unics Kazan overcame Nizhny Novgorod 78-80 in an all-Russian derby that ensured the visitors of first place in Group M. Nizhny’s home slip means the club enters a winner takes all clash with Euroleague giant Maccabi Tel Aviv next week. The Israeli juggernaut has been shaky all campaign, but stayed alive with a solid 73-66 home win over Union Olimpija Ljubljana.
7,000 fans showed up to see CAI Zaragoza overcome Galatasary 85-68 to stay in the Eurocup this season, entering a three way fight with the Turkish club and Dinamo Banco di Sardegna Sassari next week. The Italians defeated Szolnoki Olaj 90-74 to remain in the hunt.