Eurocup: Ratiopharm downs Valencia

Eurocup Round 8 got off to a quiet start on Tuesday evening as only four games were held in the competition. It was a night to be the home team as three of the four wins came for hosts while only one away victory was recorded.


Ratiopharm Ulm continued to impress at the top of Group C and this week the German team welcomed Valencia to the Ratiopharm Arena and claimed a win. Also in action in the group were Paris Levallois, with the French team hosting Italians Cimberio Varese and claiming a win.

In Group B Cedevita Zagreb picked up the only road win of the day by overcoming Belgian outfit Belgacom Spirou, while in Group E Khimki Moscow Region took the spoils against Lukoil at home.

Group B
Belgacom Spirou vs. Cedevita Zagreb, 64-72
Cedevita continued to be a force in Group B after seeing off basement club Spirou away from home. Zagreb´s win keeps the club at the summit of the group with an improved 5-2, while Spirou continues to find Eurocup Basketball a struggle and slips to a terrible 0-7 at the bottom of the table and the club currently holds the worst record in the competition.

The Belgian hosts started the game well and took a 13-8 lead during the first 10 minutes, but by the end of the period the scores were level after Cedevita found baskets to put the score at 17 apiece. In the second quarter the visitors continued the good finish to the first 10 minutes and started to carve out a gap. By time the midway buzzer sounded around Spirou Dome the scores read 29-35. At the start of the 3rd the away team continued to press and opened the biggest margin of the match with the board reading 29-41. The hosts rallied impressively and shut out Zagreb from the field for six minutes to put the score at 49-51 after 30 minutes. Early in the final period the teams traded blows until the score was sat at 61-63, but from there Cedevita pulled away enough to claim a narrower than on paper victory.

Nolan Smith offered a game high 23 points (10 coming in the last 7 minutes), while Ivan Ramljak added 16 and Jusuf Nurkic 13 for the winners.

Devin Green put in a fine double-double shift for Spirou and recorded 13 points and 13 rebounds for the winners. Mohamed Abukar (13), Joseph Trapani (12), and Demond Mallet (10) were also consistent scorers for the losers.

Group C

Ratiopharm Ulm vs. Valencia Basket, 92-84
Ratiopharm Ulm came through a stern test to beat Spanish club Valencia in Germany on Tuesday. After a tight two quarters the hosts grabbed the initiative in the 3rd and 4th to claim the win and stay top of Group C, now with a record of 6-1. Despite the loss, Valencia is still in decent shape in Group C and sits third with a 4-3 record.

The hosts were under pressure in the first quarter after some three pointers for Valencia closed the period with the visitors leading 23-26. The Spanish team started the second section well and opened the lead to 30-35, but a solid 12-0 run by Ratiopharm put the German team back in control. Valencia responded but the home team lead at halftime 44-41. In the third quarter the home team took control of the game with the lead hitting 65 to 53 at one point. Valencia got to within four points but consistent scoring from ULM at the end of the third and the start of the fourth put the team in command and on the road to victory.

Cameron Long paced the winners with 19 points and was also something of a supplier with six assists in the game. Mat Howard and Philipp Schwethelm picked up 14 points each for the German team.

Justin Doellman led the way for Valencia with 16 points and 7 rebounds, while Romain Sato netted 13, and Sam Van Rossom and Rafa Martinez hit 11 each.

Group C

Paris Levallois vs. Cimberio Varese, 77-65
With both teams sitting around the bottom of Group C, this game at Palais Des Sports Marcel Cerdan was very much one for pride. The home team took the spoils and now sit 5th in Group C with a poor 2-5 record. As for Varese, the Italian club hits the bottom of the pile with a 1-6 record.

The writing was on the wall from the first quarter as Paris shut out Varese and allowed just one field goal in the opening 8 minutes. The visitors mustered a comeback to end the first 10 minutes with the score at 14-11. The second quarter followed a similar pattern as the hosts offered 12 points and Varese replied with just 1. The lead was more or less protected for the rest of the period with Paris heading into the changing rooms at halftime with a 35-22 lead. Varese responded early in the third by slashing the lead to 7 points (37-30), but once again the Italian team let the hosts go on a run, this time with Paris putting seven on the board without reply. Heading into the final 10 minutes the home team held a 61-51 advantage but the visitors came back once again to have the board read 68-65 during the 4th. However, it proved too little too late and Paris finished the game and took the win.

Andrew Albicy scored 15 in the winning effort, Jawad Williams claimed 14 points and 8 rebounds, and Maleye Ndoye netted 13 points.

Keydren Clark hit six from beyond the arc to record a game high 18 points, while Achille Polonara scored 15 and Ebi Ere collected 13 points and 8 rebounds in the loss.

Group E

Khimki Moscow Region vs. Lukoil Academic Sofia, 83-55
The most comfortable win of the night came in Group C where Khimki welcomed Lukoil Academic Sofia to Moscow and soundly beat them. The win keeps Khimki at the top of Group E with a commanding 6-1 record, while Sofia slips to the foot of the table after 2 wins and 5 defeats.

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