The Quarterfinal stage of the Eurocup has been locked in after game 2 of the Eighthfinals was completed on Wednesday. The qualified teams now take their place in the next round of the competition as the path to the title becomes clearer.
Three of the eight Eighthfinals series games proved to be sweeps, but there was plenty of drama this week too, as two ties went to the wire. The Quarterfinals are made up from three former Eurocup champs, while four of the clubs through are debutants at this level.
Ukrainian club Budivelnik Kiev swept JSF Nanterre after visiting France and claiming a 71-76 win to take the series 2-0. The visiting team held a four point cushion after winning 86-82 last week, but never had to call on that advantage as the club progressed. Kiev held command of the game throughout the first half by taking a 10 point lead in the first period and taking a 30-39 advantage into the second half. DaJuan Summers logged 18 points on the night as Budivelnik took a big lead during the third quarter. Nanterre rallied down the stretch to keep things interesting, but ultimately it was too little too late for the hosts.
Several scoring streaks rescued Aykon TED Ankara as the Turkish club downed Khimik Yuzhne 72-60 at home to reach the Quarterfinals. The hosts trailed the series after losing 75-71 to Ukrainian outfit Yuzhne in game 1 of the series. However, Ankara surged to victory on the back of a 10-0 run in the second quarter and a 15-0 in the third. Vladimir Golubovic put in a game to remember by securing 23 points and 14 rebounds for an impressive tie winning double-double.
There were no celebrations for the home fans inside the Basketball Center despite hosts Khimki Moscow Region defeating Valencia Basket 97-82. Despite an impressive home performance the Russian club lost the series after Valencia´s commanding win in Spain last week. It was close to being very different, but Pau Ribas netted a two pointer for the visitors with 9.2 seconds left to ensure Valencia qualified with an aggregate score of 156-157. It was a valiant effort from Khimki, but ultimately the damage had been done after that crushing 75-59 loss in Valencia.
Nizhny Novgorod produced a stunning game to defeat Besiktas Integral Forex 95-71 at home. The win itself was impressive, but it becomes outstanding with the consideration that Novgorod recovered from a 17 point deficit from game 1. The Russian team looked down and out last week, but a stirring performance and the backing of the fans inside Druzhba Multipuropse Arena produced a special performance, and a 166-159 two game score. Taylor Rochestie pushed the hosts in the final stanza with 7 points in a 13-5 run that secured progression to the Eurocup Quarterfinals.
Ratiopharm Ulm left it late to grab a win in game 1 last week, but it would be no repeat of that this week as the German team crashed out after an 81-65 road loss at the hands of Hapoel Migdal Jerusalem. Bracey Wright led the winning effort with 21 points, but it was a 16-0 run compiled by Art Parakhouski, Ronald Dupree and Derwin Kitchen that sparked Jerusalem´s success. Ulm looked off the pace in the second half without ever really throwing in the towel.
ALBA Berlin´s progress through the Eurocup continues to be impressive, although the German team had to fight back during the second half against a dogged Banco di Sardegna Sassari (96-93). It was looking rocky for the hosts in the first half as Sassari had possession of a 44-57 lead at the halfway stage. Leon Radosevic inspired ALBA during a second half comeback on his way to 18 points and 6 rebounds, with the hosts managing to claw back to win the game narrowly.
A dominant Unics Kazan put Czech powerhouse CEZ Nymburk to the sword by winning 76-59 to sweep their two game series. The confident win over two games sends a message to the other remaining Eurocup teams as the hosts built a formidable 177-117 aggregate score. Andrew Goudelock was exceptional for the winners and followed his club record 36 points last week with 29 points this week.
Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius crashed out of the competition despite beating Crvena Zvezda Telekom Belgrade 82-80 at home. The hosts could not turn around last week´s six point difference and even trailed for much of this game. The team found a new gear in the last quarter to produce an exciting and tense 10 minutes of Basketball where it looked like Rytas would progress. However, Charles Jenkins struck twice for Belgrade to scrape the aggregate victory.
Crvena Zvezda vs. BC Budivelnik Kiev
Unics Kazan vs. Aykon TED Ankara
Alba Berlin vs. Valencia BC
Nizhny Novgorod vs. Hapoel Jerusalem