Eurocup Round 6 recap

Round 6 of the Eurocup provided plenty of action this week as Valencia remained the only unbeaten team and as a consequence moved through to the Last 32.

In the rest of the groups the standings became tight as other teams lost their unbeaten records and other got off the ground with their first victories.

Group A
EWE Baskets moved to 3-3 in third place by taking out Bonn 77-70 in an all-German clash, with Telekom Baskets slipping to 2-4. After losing the first quarter Oldenburg took charge and led for the remainder of the game, with Chris Kramer and Brian Qvale topping the winning effort with 14 points apiece.

Dolomiti Energia Trento joined Bilbao at the top of Group A with a 4-2 record thanks to a cruising 90-77 home victory over Union Olimpija Ljubljana (2-4). The visitors actually led 44-34 through halftime, but that double digit lead slipped away as Trento surged to victory in the second half, paced by Trent Lockett with 19 points.

Group B
An all-Italian match up saw Enel Basket Brindisi gunning down Grissin Bon Reggio Emilia 87-81 to collect its first win of the Eurocup this season (1-5), while Emilia slipped to fourth and 3-3. After losing 11-20 in the first quarter Brindisi opened through the buckets, nailing more than 20 points in the remaining quarters to seal a big win.

Group C
Proximus Spirou Charleroi tabbed its first victory of this Eurocup season with a sizeable 80-69 home win over CAI Zaragoza. The hosts bookended the game with a massive 31-21 first frame and a 23-17 closing act to secure a win. Billy Baron set the tone for Charleroi with 17 points.

Flying into the Last 32, unbeaten and top of Group C is Valencia, the winningest Eurocup team defeating SLUC Nancy (1-5) 77-65 to remain unblemished. The game was locked at 46 points apiece before Valencia surged with a 31-19 winning run in the fourth act. Sam Von Rossom topped the Spanish team with 17 points.

Umana Reyer Venice took out Ratiopharm Ulm 90-77 to enhance its qualification hopes my moving clear in fourth place (3-3), tied with Ulm in the standings. 22 points from Philip Goss and 16 points each from Michael Bramos and Jeff Viggiano set the rhythm for Venice as the Italians went up a gear in the final quarter after the game was tied 62-62 after three periods.

Group D
Aris Thessaloniki now tops Group D (4-2) after seeing off struggling Trabzonspor Medical Park 78-70 at home, sending the Turkish team to third on 3-3. The host led throughout, but could never run away with the game as the visitors managed to always stay in touch. Regardless, at the final buzzer the Greek team of Aris was the one celebrating.

In Turkey, Banvit Bandirma got back on track with a 76-68 home win over Buducnost VOLI Podgorica to take sole possession of third place in Group D (3-3). The hosts opened a 45-26 lead through the long break and never looked back in the second half to secure a comfortable home court success.

Steaua Bucharest was undone by a classy Unics Kazan at home, the Russian emerging with a 71-88 win to join Thessaloniki on 4-2 in a tie for first place. The Romanian hosts however falls to fifth on 2-4. Unics hit back from a losing first frame to claim Q2 13-27 and set up the rest of the game. The visitors used the momentum to ease to victory in the second half.

Group E
A Russian derby saw Avtodor Saratov defeat Zenit St. Petersburg 81-88 on the road, a win that handed Zenit its first loss of the 2015/2016 Eurocup campaign. It also meant that Avtodor took sole possession of second place behind Zenit (5-1) with a 4-2 record. Paul Stoll grabbed the buckets in the win, amassing 17 points.

The fight for the fourth qualifying space in Group E is heating up as Szolnoki Olaj defeated PAOK Thessaloniki 78-69 at home. The win means Olaj joined PAOK and LietuvaS Rytas on 2-4 in the race for the Last 32. The hosts looked down and out through thirty minutes, losing 41-55. However, Olaj drained 37 points in the fourth stanza to stun PAOK and take the win.

The highest scoring game of the round saw Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius take out Besiktas Istanbul 92-103 away from home to keep the pace in the hunt for fourth. Besiktas meanwhile sits in third place with a 3-3 record. Ksistof Lavrinovic was hot for the winners with 28 points. Besiktas would have been decimated without the explosive form of Nate Wolters as he plundered 34 points.

Group F
AEK Athens made the long journey to Russia and defeated Krasny Oktyabr Volgograd 78-82, a victory that pushed the Greek team to second with a 4-2 record. Krasny has turned its form in the VTB League recently, but in the Eurocup the club is struggling at the bottom of the group with a 1-5 record. The visitors from Athens needed overtime to grab the win, but were good for the victory by the final buzzer.

Galatasaray Istanbul lost its untouched record in the Eurocup this season as Neptunas Klaipeda travelled to Turkey and claimed a 76-82 victory. Errick McCollum scored 30 points for Galatasaray, but still the hosts fell to a loss, with Neptunas putting together a consistent offensive display through the game.

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