Eurocup, Regular Season hits middle point

EurocupWe are at the midway stage of the Eurocup Regular Season as week five tipped off on Tuesday with four contests in the continental competition.

In Group A Nanterre crushed Bonn at home to gets its Eurocup season ticking once again, while Ludwigsburg breathed new life into its campaign with a win over Le Mans in overtime in Group B. Also in the second group Gran Canaria hit back after losing last week to down Reggio Emilia. The final game was in Group D, where Galatasaray was pushed all the way by Nizhny Novgorod but won to stay untouched this season.

Group A
Nanterre got back on track after two consecutive defeats to improve to 3-2 in Group A thanks to a cruising 101-78 win over visiting Telekom Baskets Bonn. The German guests slip to 2-3 and will be ruing letting an excellent first quarter slip away.

Bonn was leading 16-21 through ten minutes of play, but through the remainder of the game Nanterre dominated. The hosts drained 27 points to 16 in the second frame to lead 43-37 through halftime and then plundered another 30 points in the third act to settle the game. Nanterre led 73-55 after thirty minutes and cruised through the fourth quarter to the win.

T.J. Campbell set the attacking impetus in the win, securing 21 points and laying on 6 scoring passes. Hugo Invernizzi hit 18 points for Nanterre and Mykal Riley scored 16 points.

Dirk Madrich led the losing effort with 16 points.

Group B
After losing its first game of the Eurocup season last week, Herbalife Gran Canaria Las Palmas responded like title contenders with a comfortable 76-67 home win over Reggio Emilia of Italy. The win put the Spanish team back to the top of Group B, at least temporarily, on 4-1, while Reggio Emilia slipped to 3-2.

The Italians went blow for blow with Gran Canaria in the first quarter, with the bucket trading ending with the guests carving a 23-26. The high scoring gave way to more measured play, allowing the hosts to buckle down with a 13-10 run that made it even through halftime, 36-36. Reggio Emilia kept it tight in the third act, but Gran Canaria extended to 53-52, a single point lead through thirty minutes. The home team found an extra gear in the fourth quarter to sprint away from their guests to kill the game.

Alen Omic managed a double-double in the win with 17 points and 10 boards, while Sasu Salin managed 13 points and Eulis Baez offered 12 points and 8 rebounds.

Pietro Aradori scored 12 points to pace Reggio Emilia.

MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg managed to grab a win on the road by taking out Le Mans Sarthe Basket 75-81 after overtime in France. The win put Ludwigsburg back in the mix on 3-2, and more importantly put daylight between them and Le Mans, the French club slipping to 5th with a 1-4 record.

The teams felt each other out through a nervy first quarter, but at the opening split Le Mans led 13-11. The hosts carried the momentum on the scoreboard, although the game stayed tight, and at halftime led 31-28. Ludwigsburg struck back in Q3 with a 16-20 run that gave the Germans advantage at the last interval, the score reading 47-48. A game that had been hugely tight saw Le Mans sneak the fourth by one point to take it to overtime, ending 66 apiece through regulation. In the added frame the hosts faded away as RIESEN Ludwigsburg cleaned up the scraps.

Shawn Huff was the hot scorer in the game with 21 points in the winning effort. However, Jon Brockman was also huge with a double-double of 12 points and a massive 17 rebounds.

Tywain McKee led Le Mans with 17 points, while Mouphtaou Yarou doubled up with 11 points and 10 rebounds.

Group F
Galatasaray remained unbeaten at the top of Group F, but the Turkish club was made to work hard for its 87-85 home win over Nizhny Novgorod. Galatasaray already has a foot in the next round, while Nizhny’s Eurocup season is slowly unravelling and the Russians will need to put that right in the coming weeks or risk losing its spot in the competition.

A quality first quarter ended with the teams at a deadlock, the score sitting on 24 points apiece. The scoring continued in the second frame, but it was Nizhny who found the bucket more and through the long break the visitors led 46-49. The guests kept the momentum in the third and by the final split led by five points (60-65). Bouyed by a typically hot Istanbul crowd, Galatasaray rallied in the fourth act and used a 27-20 run to snatch victory from the hands of Nizhny.

Eric McCollum topped Gala with 22 points, while Vladimir Micov drained 20 points in the win.

Victor Rudd added 19 points and 8 rebounds for the Novgorod contingent, followed by Dimitry Khovstov with 17 points.

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