In Round 5 of EuroCup Top 32 action there have been some interesting outcomes. Only one team remains undefeated and that honor goes Russian team BC Khimky Moscow Region (5-0). They’ve dominated Group K and have secured entry into the next stage of the competition in dominant fashion.
There was a reversal of fortunes for teams in this group. The top two clubs suffered losses at the hands of the bottom two teams, which served as a testament as to how tight the competition in this group is. Pinar Karsiyaka SK Izmir took down Ratiopharm Ulm, 90-78, at home to secure their second straight victory. Karsiyaka rode the monster game of Esteban Batista who exploded for 29 points and seven rebounds. The loss caused Ratiopharm to slip to the number two spot, behind JSF Nanterre despite identical 3-2 records.
Foxtown Cantu downed JSF Nanterre in a convincing 89-74 win. Similar to Karsiyaka, this is Cantu’s second straight win. Michael Jenkins took advantage of playing on his team’s home court to lead his team with 29 points. Cantu is still in the third position in this group and it will be interesting to see whether they, or Karsiyaka will be able to capitalize on their new-found momentum.
Turkey’s Aykon TED Kolejliler Ankara totally destroyed Banco di Sardegna Sassari, 104-75. Their win puts them at a comfortable 4-1 as they secure the top position of the group. Vladimir Golubovic came up big for his team as he dropped a double-double performance with 28 points and 17 rebounds, asserting his dominance in the paint and allowing his club to cruise to an easy win.
French Pro A team BCM Gravelines Dunkerque sank deeper in the standings now at 1-4 after faltering to Germany’s Brose Baskets Bamberg, 70-59. It’s been a tough run for Gravelines at this stage so far.
CEZ Nymburk (2-3) won over Maccabi Haifa (2-3) at home, 68-53, to jump over their opponents in the standings. With both teams sporting identical records, this tie-breaking game could prove to be pivotal moving forward. CEZ Nymburk clawed their way in the second half to come away with the victory after both teams took their time in the early portion of the game to get into their offensive groove.
Khimky Moscow Region leaned on the effort of James Augustine, who came away with 18 points and eight boards to lead his team in their 85-73 win over Montepaschi Siena. Montepaschi, with only one win so far to its name at this stage (1-4), is now in a tough spot in the tournament. Khimky, as mentioned earlier, is now 5-0 and is the last remaining undefeated team in the Final 32.
There’s a clear divide in this group with two teams rising to the top. Crvena Zvezda and Nhizny Novgorod both dispatched with their respective opponents, keeping their neck-and-neck tie with 4-1 records. They are the stronger teams and have widened the gap between themselves and Bilbao Basket (2-3) and Panionios ON Telecoms Athens (0-5). Crvena Zvezda came away with the upset over Bilbao on Spanish soil, 81-85, thanks in part to the 20 points delivered by Jaka Blazic.
Panionios was outclassed by Nhizny Novgorod 80-67, as they could find no answers to Dijon Thompson. Thompson muscled his way to 19-point, 11-rebound and four-assist performance as he took over the game.
Here are the results of the other half of the games in the round:
Budivelnyk Kyiv vs. Banvit Basketbol Kulubu, 60-59
Hapoel Migdal Jerusalem vs. Union Olimpija Ljubljana, 86-77
Strasbourg IG vs. ALBA Berlin, 78-75
Radnicki Kragujevac vs. Khimik-OPZ Yuhzny, 86-68
Unics Kazan vs. Stelmet Zielona Gora, 82-64
Telenet Oostende vs. Valencia Basket, 64-84
KK Cedevita Zagreb vs. CAI Zaragoza, 74-77 (photo above)
Besiktas Istanbul vs. Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius, 63-84