Round 6 of this season´s Eurocup is underway after five games were held on Tuesday evening as the competition starts to heat up in the second half of the Regular Season. It was a night of largely comfortable victories as the groups begin to take shape during the 2013/2014 season.
In Group B KK Cedevita Zagreb picked up a crucial victory over Bilbao in Croatia to take three wins in a row, while Chalon defeated Spirou at home. There was also action in Group C as Valencia cruised to victory over Paris-Levall to keep pressure on Ratiopharm Ulm at the top. In Group D, Zaragoza crushed M.Hainaut for an emphatic road win, while in Group F PAOK came through to win on the road against Budocnost in what was the closest game of the night.
KK Cedevita Zagreb – Bilbao Basket, 89:79
Cedevita picked up a good win against Bilbao Basket at home thanks to a strong three point attack (13 from beyond the arc during the game) to move second in Group B with a 4-2 record. Spanish club Bilbao is now facing up to back to back results which have seen the team slip to third with a sliding 4-2 record.
It was a night of solid scoring for the hosts as nine players from the Cedevita team picked up between 8 and 13 points. A very tight first period saw both teams jostling for dominance in the game, and by the end of the 10 minutes the scores were close at 25-24 in favor of the home team. The second quarter followed the same pattern, with both teams going on mini runs to go in at halftime with the hosts winning 47-45. In the third the Croatian giants took hold of the game thanks to the metronome like consistency of the three point scoring, opening a lead that read 68-62 heading into the last period. Bilbao put on a brave fight in the fourth, with the home team having to wait until there was 70 seconds on the clock to be sure of victory.
Nolan Smith set the pace for the winners with 13 points, while Luka Babic and Tomislav Zubcic each scored 11 points.
German Gabriel recorded a game high 17 points, but 13 of those arrived in the first quarter. Raul Lopez picked up 11 for the visitors and Alex Mumbru added 10 to the losing effort. Jackie Carmichael was strong off the board with 10 rebounds for Bilbao.
Belfius Mons Hainaut – CAI Zaragoza, 65:104
Spanish outfit CAI Zaragoza scored the most points of the night by crushing Mons Hainaut on the road at the Mons Arena, Belgium. The emphatic victory improved Zaragoza´s record to 3-3 in Group D and the team will no doubt be hoping to build on this confidence boosting win. Hainaut´s woes continue as the team’s struggles in this season’s competition show no signs of abating; the team now has a dismal 0-6 record.
Zaragoza showed early dominance over the hosts and had it not been for the efforts of Talor Battle for Mons, the first quarter would have been comfortable for the Spanish team. As it was Battle kept Mons in touch, but Zaragoza did win the opening 10 by 18-20. In the second the lead began to grow as the visitors clearly had better prowess on the court, and with Zaragoza´s scoring picking up the team opening a halftime lead that read 33-48. With a fifteen point margin heading into the second half, Mons was probably already out of the game, but nevertheless Zaragoza continued to apply pressure upon the home team.
The Spanish team kept hitting baskets and shutting out the Belgians at the other end, and by the finish of the third stanza the scoreboard read 48-72 in favor of the visitors. The fourth period proved to be a parade to victory for the Spanish team as points continued to be tallied to the result of a 65-104 victory.
Michael Roll and Jonathan Tabu were the standout scorers for Zaragoza with 14 apiece while Roll also added 5 rebounds. Albert Fontet shot for 12 points for the winners and Pere Tomas and Jon Stefansson took 11 each. Joseph Jones picked up the most rebounds on the night with 11.
The player of the night was Talor Battle, who for long periods of the first half kept Mons within touch. Battle offered a game high 16 points for the team as he continues to show fine form, while Robert Vaden netted 12 in defeat.
The other games played during the Eurocup Round 6, Tuesday were:
Elan Chalon vs. Belgacom Spirou, 91-77
Valencia Basket vs. Paris Levallois, 98-52
Buducnost Voli vs. PAOK Thessaloniki, 69-75