Hapoel Unet-Credit Holon outlasted Happy Casa Brindisi in a gripping overtime drama on Wednesday to punch their ticket to the Final 8, entering the BCL Quarter-Finals stage for the first time in club history.
Meanwhile, in Group K action, SIG Strasbourg and Turk Telekom picked up big wins, over Nizhny Novgorod and AEK, respectively, and will face off on the final gameday to earn the remaining spot in the Final 8 from that group.
Hapoel Unet-Credit Holon 81-79 Happy Casa Brindisi (OT) — Group I
A Maxime De Zeeuw layup with 3 tenths of a second on the clock lifted Hapoel Unet-Credit Holon to an 81-79 win over Happy Casa Brindisi in a thrilling overtime clash, and the Israeli team will make their first-ever Final 8 appearance in the BCL.
Brindisi ran in the open floor early on and opened up a 24-13 second-quarter lead, but fast-break opportunities dried up as the intensity rose, and that was the last double-digit lead of the night.
C.J. Harris sunk a jumper 1:33 from the end of the third quarter to give Holon their first lead, 50-49, and the two teams traded basket down the stretch.
Chris Johnson and Harris combined for 12 points in the final 3:23 of the fourth quarter to give Holon a 5-point lead, but Darius Thompson drilled back-to-back triples to keep Brindisi alive.
Bostic tied the scores at 72-72 with two free-throws remaining 30 seconds from the end of regulation and, after Harris missed a long two on the other end, Bostic’s desperation three from deep bounced out, and the game went into overtime.
After Darius Thompson sunk a huge triple to tie the scores at 79-79, Holon called a timeout with just over 2 seconds left on the clock and drew a play for Guy Pnini to cleverly inbound the ball to De Zeeuw underneath the Italian basket.
The Belgian international made an acrobatic layup under pressure and Brindisi’s attempt at an alley-oop pass at the buzzer narrowly failed, for the hosts to celebrate the big win.
Harris finished with 24 points, 5 assists, and 3 rebounds, and Johnson added 15 points, 7 rebounds, and 3 assists for the winners, while Darius Thompson had 23 points in a losing effort.
Turk Telekom 78-66 AEK — Group K
Turk Telekom used a third-quarter run to jump ahead of AEK and held on for a 78-66 win that sets up a showdown with Strasbourg for second place in the group next week and eliminates the Greek team from contention.
Kyle Wiltjer, who came to life in the second quarter after a slow start, paved the way for Turk Telekom with 24 points on 8 of 12 shooting from the field, 6 rebounds, and 3 assists.
The hosts dominated the boards 44 to 29 and shot the ball better, but AEK, who used their experience to stay close throughout the first half, went ahead 40-39 on a Keith Langford layup at the start of the third frame.
Wiltjer replied with a layup of his own 8:24 from the third buzzer to spark Turk Telekom’s 15-4 run, which Samet Geyik capped off with a jumper 1:31 from the end of the period.
Kingsley Moses concerted a beautiful three-point play 49 seconds from the final buzzer to cut the deficit to eight points, 74-66, giving AEK hope that they could defend the nine-point differential from the reverse fixture and stay alive in the Final 8 race.
That hope proved short-lived, though, as Marcus Foster found Geyik underneath the basket for the Turkish forward to score with a layup, and AEK misfired on the other end.
Nizhny Novgorod 87-97 SIG Strasbourg — Group K
SIG Strasbourg stormed back from a 15-point deficit to hand Nizhny Novgorod their first loss in the Play-Offs, 97-87, and set up a Week 6 decider with Turk Telekom for a ticket to the Final 8.
Nizhny showcased their trademark ball movement and, with 8:38 remaining to the end of the second period, Alexander Gankevich scored with a layup to instigate a 12-0 run.
The hosts turned a 26-24 into a 36-26 lead and looked comfortable heading into the locker rooms, having dished 17 assists by halftime.
Nizhny stretched the lead to 63-50 after the break, but Brandon Jefferson drilled three triples in quick succession, the third with 3:48 left to the third buzzer, to tie the scores at 63-63.
The hosts briefly led by six points early in the final stanza, but Strasbourg was now playing with the sense of urgency the occasion demanded.
Ishmail Wainright knocked down a three 4:56 from the final buzzer to put the French team ahead, 83-81, and a Bonzie Colson trey 2:16 from the end capped off Strasbourg’s 15-0 run and extended their lead to 91-81.
Jefferson finished with 24 points on 6 of 10 from beyond the arc, Colson added 17 points and Wainright finished with 14 points and 6 rebounds. For Nizhny, Gankevich and Andrey Vorontsevich had 15 points apiece in defeat.
Strasbourg, Turk Telekom, and AEK are all tied at 2-3, with the winner of the Week 6 clash between the French and the Turkish team earning second place in the group, behind Nizhny.
VEF Riga 64-77 Lenovo Tenerife — Group J
Lenovo Tenerife led VEF Riga by slim margins for most of the night but pulled away decisively in the final stanza to clinch a 77-64 win on the road.
The islanders have gone top of the Group J standings on a 4-1 record and will qualify to the Final 8 if Hereda San Pablo Burgos beat Igokea on Thursday.
Tenerife had a fragile two-point lead, 58-56 with 7:12 remaining to the final buzzer when Santi Yusta scored with a layup to spark a 15-2 run.
Tyler Cavanaugh capped it off with a triple with just 3:38 left on the clock to stretch Tenerife’s lead to 73-58 and effectively seal the win for the visitors.
Cavanaugh led the way for Tenerife with 18 points and 5 rebounds, while Aaron Doornekamp chipped in with 14 points off the bench, highlighting that Tenerife’s second unit contributed 38 points, compared to VEF’s 16 points off the bench.