Another weeks and another fantastic round of Eurocup action as Round 7 of the Regular Season brought plenty of excitement. Indeed, it seems the groups will be going to the wire, with only Valencia guaranteed a spot in the Last 32 so far. In Groups A through F there is all to play for, so let’s look at how the clubs fared around the continent this week.
Dolomiti Energia Trento took a step to the Last 32 with an 80-93 win over EWE Baskets Oldenburg to claim sole possession of first place in Group A with a 5-1 record. Oldenburg slipped to third with a 4-3 record after seeing Trento carve an 18 point lead through three quarters. The hosts rallied in the fourth, but it was not enough to turn the result.
Bilbao Basket proved too strong for Telekom Baskets Bonn with a cruising 95-80 victory at home in Spain. The hosts were too hot from start to finish and opened a 46-34 lead through halftime, allowing a cruise in the second half to victory. Bilbao shares the lead in the group with a 5-1 record, while Bonn 2-5 losing record leaves them on the foot of the standings.
Le Mans Sarthe Basket kept its chances alive with an easy 66-45 home win over Enel Brindisi in France, putting the club on 2-5 in fifth place, while Brindisi is only mathematically hanging onto its Eurocup berth. The contest was tied 40-40 through thirty minutes, but a 11-0 run and 15-0 run meant a 30-3 spurt spanning the third and fourth frames won the hosts the game.
Grissin Bon Reggio Emilia stunned ALBA Berlin 74-71 in Italy to join the Germans on a 4-3 record in a tie for third place in Group B. 22 points from Pietro Aradori paced the hosts and also grabbed what proved to be the winning basket in the closing seconds.
Proximus Spirou Charleroi is on something of a roll as the Belgian club travelled to Ratiopharm Ulm in Germany and came away with a 76-77 win, the clubs’ second consecutive victory. Billy Baron was hot for the winners with 31 points and 6 assists, propelling Proximus Spirou Charleroi to a 2-5 record in fifth, while Ulm stuck in fourth with a 3-4 record.
SLUC Nancy sunk further at the foot of Group C (1-6) thanks to a 62-71 home loss at the hands of Umana Reyer Venice. The visitors built the victory on a 15-27 first frame and held the victory for the rest of the game. Venice is now tied for second place with a 4-3 record and is looking good to progress to the Last 32 of the Eurocup.
Unics Kazan took out Banvit Bandirma 78-69 at home to enhance its position to 5-2 for sole possession of first place in Group D, while Banvit’s slide continued to 3-4 in fifth place. Unics had carved a sizeable 40-25 lead at the long break and never looked back as Quino Colom led the winning effort with 23 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists.
Buducnost VOLI Podgorica topped Aris Thessaloniki 75-56 at home to tie fourth place with a 3-4 record, while Aris slipped to a tie for second on 4-3. The hosts won the first frame 24-6 and added another 24 points in the second quarter to make it 48-21 at half time. Aris improved in the second half, but Buducnost was allowed to cruise down the straight.
Trabzonspor got back to winning ways with an 82-67 home stroll over Steaua Bucharest, putting the Turks on 4-3 alongside Thessaloniki. The hosts dominated for large spells of the game and looked to Andrija Stipanovic with a game high 16 points, while Novica Velickovic added 13 points.
Avtodor Saratov overcame Besiktas Istanbul in an enthralling 93-83 game in Russia, enough to consolidate the hosts in second place on 5-2. Besiktas has now lost three on the bounce, but the Turkish team are still on contention for the Eurocup Last 32 with a 3-4 record in third place.
After its first loss last week at the hands of Avtodor, Russian club Zenit St. Petersburg bounced back with an easy 70-89 road win over PAOK Thessaloniki. After trailing 29-19 through the first split, Zenit responded with a 15-31 run in the second frame to snatch the lead for good. Ryan Toolson was an ace for the winners with 29 points.
A very tight game took place in in Lithuania, with host Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius losing to Szolnoki Olaj by a single point, 98-99. The visitors were leading 70-76 after thirty minutes on the hardwood, but Lietuvos Rytas roared back in the fourth to take it to the wire. However, the home team simply run out of time just as the momentum was swinging.
Nizhny Novgorod met Krasny Oktyabr Volgograd at home in an all-Russian encounter and managed to slay their opponents 82-74. It is looking as though Krasny is down and out in last place with a 1-6 record, while Nizhny took charge of the last qualification spot with a 4-3 record, largely thanks to a double-double of 18 points and 10 rebounds from Kaspars Berzins.
Galatasaray got back to winning ways with a 73-86 road success over AEK Athens in Greece, sending the Turkish club of Istanbul clear at the top of Group F with a 6-1 record, while Athens slipped two wins behind with a 4-3 record in second place.