Eurocup: Round 3 recap

EurocupRound 3 of the 2015/2016 Eurocup season has wrapped and there was no shortage of excitement, with shocks aplenty in the competition this week.

Group A
Telekom Baskets Bonn moved to 2-1 in Group A with a road win in Ljubljana over Union Olimpija. Bonn cruised through three quarters, building off a 13-24 first quarter to lead 51-63 through thirty minutes. Union Olimpija rallied in the fourth act, but the hosts could not overturn the scoreboard and ended the contest with a loss.

Trento moved to the top of Group A with a 2-1 record by downing French club Nanterre at home. Despite the win, both teams are in a four way lock on 2-1 and the group is wide open. A 25-18 run in the first gave the hosts a cozy lead through ten minutes, and Trento held on in the second to lead 36-31 through the long break. A 23-19 run put the Italians further in front before Nanterre collapsed in the fourth to hand the home team an easy win.

Group B
Reggio Emilia collected its second win of the 2015/2016 Eurocup with a road win over Ludwigsburg in Germany. The Italian guests were one step ahead in the first half and lead 33-40 through the long break, before edging the second half with some measured plays in offence and a solid defensive effort. Amedeo Della Valle led Emilia with 18 points, while Pietro Aradori added 15 points and Achille Polonara managed 14 points in the win.

ALBA Berlin edged out Le Mans Sarthe Basket 84-88 away from home, but needed overtime to get the job done in a back and forth contest. The visitors were leading late in the fourth, but Le Mans rallied to tie it at 72-72 through regulation. Niels Giffey drained two from beyond the arc in the added stanza to settle the game in favour of the Germans.

Group C

CAI Zaragoza just managed to pass by SLUC Nancy 76-78 on the road in France. The Spanish team finally pulled ahead midway through the third quarter and never looked back to collect its first away win of the Eurocup season. Joan Sastre Morrow was the pick of CAI’s roster, adding 21 points to the winning cause.

Umana Reyer Venice toppled Proximus Spirou Charleroi 73-69 at home for its second victory, while defeat left the Belgian visitors winless. An 8-0 run to close the third act was enough to propel Venice into a lead it never let go of in the remaining period. Jeff Viggiano drained 5 of 9 from downtown to finish with 15 points and 7 rebounds for the Italian club.

Group D
Trabzonspor Medical Park got back to winning ways with a 75-71 home win over Buducnost VOLI Podgorica. The visitors actually led by double digits in the second quarter, but relinquished the lead through the rest of the contest. The Turkish winners mostly looked to a sensation personal performance from Tarence Kinsey, who scored 23 points along with 7 rebounds, 4 steals and 4 assists.

Aris Thessaloniki shocked Unics Kazan 73-74 to hand the Russians their first loss of the Eurocup campaign. More impressive was that the Greek team picked up the win on the road in Kazan. The very close game went to overtime after Kostas Kaimakoglou tied the game for the hosts with a last second triple. Aris showed steel in the extra frame to take the win.

Banvit Bandirma beat Steaua CSM EximBank Bucharest 64-78 away from home in what was a comfortable workout for the Turkish team. The game was open before Banvit closed it down with a 0-12 run that spanned the end of the third and start of the fourth quarters. Adrien Moerman collected 16 points and 9 rebounds in a near double-double display.

Group E
Zenit St. Petersburg breezed past Szolnoki Olaj 75-84 on the road to remain unblemished on a 3-0 record, while the Polish team of Olaj are without a success this season. Zab Dowdell paced the winners with 24 points on a shooting school (nearly achieving perfection with 5 of 6 two-point shots, 2 of 2 three-point shots and 8 of 8 free throws). By making it a double-double with 14 assists and then adding 5 steals and 4 boards, Dowdell tied the Eurocup record for a non-overtime performance index score with 51.

Avtodor Saratov downed Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius 81-97 with ease on the road to keep pace with compatriot Zenit at the top of the Group E standings. Avtodor shut the game out with impressive second and third quarters, using a 2-14 run in the second, and a 2-15 in the third to brush the hosts aside.

Besiktas Sompo Japan Istanbul blasted past PAOK Thessaloniki 80-100 on the road in Greece to put spark into its campaign. Nate Wolters and Maciej Lampe were the difference for the winning effort, the former grabbing 27 points, 6 rebounds and 8 assists, and the former doubling up with 18 points and 15 rebounds for Besiktas.

Group F
Neptunas Klaipeda shocked Krasny Oktyabr Volgograd 99-90 at home on the back of Martynas Mazeika scoring 7 points in the added overtime period, Neptunas using an 11-0 run to take the win. There were huge performances for the hosts, such as Daniel Ewing scoring 22 points and handing 5 assists to lead the winning team. Travis Bader added 17 of 5-of-7 three-point shooting.

Galatasaray Odeabank Istanbul held off Hapoel Bank Yahav Jerusalem 87-79 to stay top of Group F with an untouched 3-0 record. The hosts were hot from beyond the arc, draining 16 of 31 from triple distance. Four from Four three pointers to close the game helped the home team take the win.

AEK Athens took out Nizhny Novgorod 87-70, Loukas Mavrokefalidis was MVP for the winning effort, grabbing a double-double of 19 points and 13 caroms to see off the dangerous Russians. AEK used a 17-0 run in the third act to settle the game after a tight first half.

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