Eurocup: Spanish clubs take centre stage

EurocupThe Eurocup is back in action for Round 3, with the week’s contests tipping off with three clashes on Tuesday, including two of the competition favourites.

Former champs Valencia edged out Ratiopharm Ulm with a rally in the second half to remain untouched in Group C. Gran Canaria Las Palmas is also undefeated after sweeping away Enel Brindisi at home to top Group B. It was a night of Spanish wins as Bilbao Basket took apart EWE Baskets Oldenburg to enhance its chances in Group A.

Group A

EWE Baskets Oldenburg vs. Dominion Basket Bilbao, 60-94
Bilbao piled the pressure on EWE Baskets Oldenburg with a demolition of the Germans on their own hardwood. The Spanish visitors picked up a second consecutive victory to move to 2-1 in Group A, while EWE Baskets stayed without a win on the foot of the standings (0-3). The guests were hot from downtown, hitting 16 of 31 triples (51.8%) to back up their scoring in the arc.

Visiting Bilbao dominated from the start and in a blitz during the opening quarter opened a significant 16-27 lead, and although Oldenburg tightened in the second quarter it came at a cost. The hosts stopped EWE Baskets more often in Q2, but at the price of its own attacking endeavors, so by halftime the Spanish club had extended to 29-45. The contest was put beyond doubt in the third act when a 19-26 lead gave Bilbao a huge 48-71 lead through thirty minutes. The Spaniards romped to victory in the fourth stanza, putting a sorry Oldenburg to the sword.

Dairis Bertans secured a game high 17 points in the win, while Clevin Hannah was good for 15 points and 7 assists. Alejandro Suarez and Tobais Borg both managed 10 points in victory.

Robim Smeulders hit 14 points and pulled in 7 rebounds in the losing effort, followed by Ricky Paulding with 11 points.

Group B

Herbalife Gran Canaria Las Palmas vs. Enel Basket Brindisi, 103-76
Gran Canaria laid down another market by tearing through Enel Basket Brindisi at home. The victory kept the hosts unblemished on 3-0 in Group B, the Spanish club is signaling its intentions to go one better than the runner up position it enjoyed in last season’s Eurocup. As for Brindisi, the Italians are rooted at the bottom of the table at 0-3, winless so far.

Gran Canaria sent an early message to demoralize the guests, pouring in 31 points in the first quarter and leaving Brindisi way back on 13 points. The visitors rallied in the second frame to reduce the gap to 50-35 through the midway break, although the Spanish club remained in control with a double digit lead. A 27-17 surge from the hosts in the third quarter killed the game, allowing Gran Canaria to build on a 77-52 thirty minute lead to destroy Brindisi in the fourth act.

Sasu Salin posted a game high 20 points in the winning effort, followed by 18 points from Kyle Kuric, and 12 points from Alen Omic.

Durand Scott paced Brindisi by matching Salin’s haul of 20 points, while Kenny Kadji logged 16 points.

Group C

Ratiopharm Ulm vs. Valencia Basket, 79-82
Three time Eurocup champions Valencia outlasted Ratiopharm Ulm on the road in Germany to remain on top of the pile in Group C. The Spanish team, the winningest club in Eurocup format history, is untouched with a 3-0 record, while victory here gave nearest challenger Ulm its first black mark of the season.

The hosts had actually started in fine touch and dictated the pace on the floor in the first stanza to open a 25-15 lead at the first split. The Germans continued to dominate in the second frame and a 27-22 winning period ensured a 15 point lead at the long break (52-37). Valencia woke up in the third act and reversed the first quarter score to win the period 15-25 and make it a five point game through the last rest, the scoreboard reading 67-62. Ratiopharm Ulm’s advantage slowly ebbed away in the fourth frame, all the momentum was with Valencia and the visitors saw it through to record a win.

Guillem Vives stood out for Valencia, scoring 21 points and laying on 9 assists, while Justin Hamilton also impressed in the victory, taking 19 points and 9 boards for Valencia. Fernando San Emeterio backed them up with 12 points.

Augustine Rubit led the way for Ulm with 17 points, with Carlon Brown adding 14 points.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login