‘Super Sunday’ set for National Cup week

It’s been an intense week full of National Cup contests around Europe, with a number of competitions ending Sunday with Finals. In Italy, Cimberio Varese will square off against Montepaschi Siena; in Serbia, Partizan will be looking for their sixth straight “Kup Radivoja Koraca” win when they hit the hardwood against Red Star Belgrade; in Spain, FC Barcelona Regal will be looking to win their third “Copa del Rey” in fourth years when they match up with Valencia Baskets; in Turkey, Fenerbahce Ulker will meet Galatasaray Medical Park in the finals of the “Spor Toto Turkiye Kupasi”; in Greece, Olympiacos will face Panathinaikos; in Poland, Trefl Sopot takes on host AZS Koszalin; and in Slovenia Union Olimpija goes for their 19th Cup in 22 years against Helios Domzale.

England BBL Trophy:
Surrey Heat – Leicester Riders, 66:82
Sheffield Sharks – Glasgow Rocks, 84:81

Quarterfinals (Fri., Feb. 8)
Newcastle Eagles – Worcester Wolves, 88:94

Quarterfinals (Sat., Feb. 9):
Worthing Thunder – Cheshire Phoenix, 61:108
The semi-finals of the BBL Trophy have now been finalized after the Chesire Phoenix pounded the Worthing Thunder 61:108 on Saturday. With the win the Phoenix will square off against the Sheffield Sharks in the semis.

Chesire got out quick, ending the first frame with a 12:22 advantage after scoring the first 11 points in the contest. In the second they ran off 10 unanswered and outscored Worthing 8:23 over the last eight minutes of the half to head into the break with a solid 24-point lead, 23:47. The Phoenix extended the gap to 34 in the third with a 2:17 scoring run. In the final stanza Worthing cut the gap slightly with an 8:0 scoring run of their own, but a 5:16 run by the Phoenix pushed the margin to 45 at the buzzer.

Jerome Gumbs was game-high for the Phoenix with 25 points and 11 rebounds. Chez Marks added 23 points, 7 assists, 5 rebounds and 5 steals. Gabe Haskins added 16 points and 9 assists to the win. Kadiri Richard and Joe Carter paced the Thunder with 14 points each, while Richard added 9 rebounds and 4 blocked shots.

Semi-Finals (2 Legs, Dates TBA):
Sheffield Sharks – Cheshire Phoenix
Leicester Riders – Worcester Wolves

Finals (Sat., Mar. 9)

Greek Cup:
Semi-Finals (Dec. 22):
Kavala – Olympiacos, 55:87
Panathinaikos – KAO Dramas, 66:56

Finals (Feb. 10)
Olympiacos – Panathinaikos

Italian Cup – “BEKO Final Eight”:
Quarterfinals (Thurs., Feb. 7):
Mapooro Cantu – Acea Roma, 85:89
Cimberio Varese – EA7 Emporio Armani Milan, 92:74

Quarterfinals (Fri., Feb. 8):
Banco Di Sardegna Sassari – Enel Brindisi, 98:96

Semi-Finals (Sat., Feb. 9):
Cimberio Varese – Acea Roma, 81:71
Cimberio Varese grabbed the first spot in the Italian Cup Finals with an 81:71 win over Acea Roma on Saturday. On the strength of solid first and fourth quarters Varese built an early lead, gave it up and then controlled the final 10 to book a seat in the finals against Montepaschi Siena.

Varese opened their semi-final outscoring Roma 18:10 after hitting the first five of the game. Roma returned the favor in the second dropping the first five in the frame, only to be countered by Cimberio’s seven unanswered. The clubs exchanged baskets, then Roma went on a 3:11 scoring run late in the first half to pull within one, 33:32. Mike Green connected on a pair of singles for Varese to close out the first half with the score at 35:32. Three minutes into the third quarter Roma had taken the lead and built a four-point advantage of their own. Varese hit 10 straight to get up 50:44, only to be countered with a 2:9 run from Roma to give them a one-point lead heading into the final frame, 52:53. Mid-way through the fourth the clubs were still only separated by a point with Roma up 60:61. Varese ran off the next five to take the lead back for the final time as they outscored Roma 21:10 over the last five minutes, earning the spot in the finals.

Ebi Ere was game-high for Cimberio Varese with 23 points. Dusan Sakota added 21 points, and Mike Green contributed 11 points and 9 assists to the win. Jordan Taylor dropped in 20 for Acea Roma, Phil Goss added 19 and Luigi Datome tallied 11 points and 8 rebounds.

Montepaschi Siena – Banco Di Sardegna Sassari, 85:78
Montepaschi Siena had to come from down four at the end of the third and used a 22:33 final quarter to set up the finals of the Italian Cup between Cimberio Varese and Siena.

Siena got out to a small advantage capturing the first frame 16:18 on the strength of eight first quarter points by Benjamin Eze. Each club built small margins in the second quarter, only to have the score read 38-all at the end of the 20th minute. Tomas Ress dropped in nine for Siena and Travis Diener tallied eight for Sassari. A 5:18 scoring run by Sassari earned them a 13-point advantage with three minutes left in the third 10, 43:56. Siena countered with a 9:0 run to finish the quarter to head into the last 10 down four, 52:56. Siena knotted the score mid-way through the final stanza and an 11:2 scoring run put them up nine, 81:72 with a minute to play. Sassari hit six of six from the charity stripe in the final minute, but a dunk by Viktor Sanikidze and a jumper by David Moss kept Sassari from catching up and iced Siena’s spot in the finals.

Daniel Hacket paced Siena with 19, David Moss added 13, Eze and Kristjan Kangur added 11 each to the win. Marvis Thornton was game-high with 29 points for Sassari, Tony Easley added 13 and Diener contributed 12.

Finals (Sun., Feb. 10):
Cimberio Varese – Montepaschi Siena

Poland Cup – “Intermarche Basket Cup”:
Anwil Włocławek – Trefl Sopot, 72:79
Stelmet Zielona Góra – Asseco Prokom Gdynia, 74:83
Jezioro Tarnobrzeg – PGE Turów Zgorzelec, 79:88

Semi-Finals (Feb. 9 – Koszalin):
PGE Turów Zgorzelec – Trefl Sopot, 76:90
AZS Koszalin – Asseco Prokom Gdynia, 82:75

Finals (Feb. 10 – Koszalin)
Trefl Sopot – AZS Koszalin

Serbian Cup – “Kup Radivoja Koraca”:
Quarterfinals (Thurs., Feb. 7):
Mega Vizura – Vrsac, 82:79
Partizan mt:s Belgrade – Sloboda, 73:50

Quarterfinals (Fri., Feb. 8):
Radnicki – Metalac, 95:60
Crvena Zvezda Telekom – Vojvodina, 97:72

Semi-Finals (Sat., Feb. 9):
Mega Vizura – Partizan, 77:87
Since the founding of the Kup Radivoja Koraća, Partizan has been in the finals seven times, including hoisting the Cup the last five consecutive years. Last year they squared off against Crvena Zvezda in the finals, taking the title 64:51. After Saturday’s semi-finals, a rematch has been set up for Sunday’s championship at Hala Jezero in Kragujevac.

Partizan earned their seventh consecutive trip to the finals with a hard-fought 77:87 win over Mega Vizura. For three quarters the clubs battled for an advantage with the first frame ending in a 21-all tie and the first half going to Vizura with a one-point margin, 40:39. Partizan got a lead of their own in the third, heading into the final 10 up one, 59:60. Partizan took over in the fourth quarter and outscored Vizura 18:27 to secure their spot in the title game.

Djordje Gagic led Partizan with 21 points, Leo Westermann added 15, and Drew Gordan (10 rebounds) and Davis Bertans contributed 12 points each to the win. Vasilije Micic was game-high with 23 points and 7 assists for Vizura, Boban Marjanovic added 18 points, 13 rebounds, and 2 blocks.

Radnicki – Crvena Zvezda Telekom, 64:90
Red Star Belgrade set up a rematch of the 2011-12 cup finals between them and Partizan with a 26-point win over Radnicki on Saturday.

Radnicki was able to hang with the Reds through the first five minutes playing to an 11-all tie. By the end of the first frame Red Star had built an eight-point margin, 17:25. By the end of the first half, Radnicki found themselves down 15, 29:44. Radnicki was able to earn back two points in the third frame, outscoring the Reds 25:23 to head into the last period down by 13, 54:67. Red Star turned up the defense in the fourth, only allowing Radnicki to net 10 points, while dropping in 23 of their own to build their margin of victory to 26 at the end of the contest.

Igor Rakocevic was high scorer for Red Star with 21 points and 5 assists. Bojan Subotic added 15 and Boris Savovic contributed 11 points and 7 rebounds. Terrico White led the way for Radnicki with 21 points and 9 rebounds. Mattew Amaning added 15.

Finals (Sun., Feb. 10):
Partizan – Crvena Zvezda Telekom

Slovenian Cup – “F8 Pokal Spar”:
Quarterfinals (Feb. 7):
Plama Plur – Krka, 59:91
Helios Domžale – Splošna plovba Portorož, 91:82

Quarterfinals (Feb. 8):
Union Olimpija – Šenčur Gorenjska, 89:84
Tajfun – Maribor Messer, 77:62

Semi-Finals (Feb. 9):
Union Olimpija – Tajfun, 82:76
Union Olimpija qualified for their 17th consecutive Pokal Spar title game with an 82:76 victory over Tajfun in their semi-final match up. The game between Olimpija and Helios will be a rematch of the 2007, 2008, and 2011 finales. Olimpija won the 2008 and 2011 titles, while Helios won the 2007 Cup.

The defending champions took control of the game in the first quarter, getting out to a 16:3 advantage four minutes into the frame behind three triples by Sasu Salin Antreas. Mladen Primorac kept Tajfun in the contest accounting for all 10 of the club’s points over the last five minutes of the initial period. Teemu Rannikko Sakari dropped in a lay-up as time expired on the opening 10 to put Olimpija up 25:13. The clubs spent the second quarter exchanging baskets, Dimo Muric dropped in eight for Olimpija and Primorac tallied an additional seven for Tajfun. At the half Tajfun had cut the margin by one, 46:35. Tajfun used the long-ball to cut their deficit to six at the end of the third quarter, dropping in four triples and Ivan Drzic connected on three singles after getting fouled on a shot behind the arc. Muric added another nine points to his total for Olimpija and three Tajfun players dropped in six during the quarter to help the club outscore Olimpija 19:24 and set up the final frame with a 65:59 score. In the last period Tajfun could get no closer than six as Olimpija came up with timely points every time their spot in the title game was threatened. Jasmin Perkovic tallied eight for Olimpija in the last 10 and Michael Venezia connected on two triples in the frame. Muric and Primorac both hit jumpers in the closing seconds for their clubs to close out their nights with 19 and 21 points respectively. Muric also added 8 rebounds and was 8 for 9 from inside the arc. Primorac was 10 of 12 inside the arc for Tajfun. Jaka Blazic added 16 for Olimpija and Perkovic dropped in 14. Drzic tallied 13 for Tajfun and Venezia added 12.

Krka – Helios Domžale, 66:71
Helios Domzale dominated the fourth quarter of their semi-final match up with Krka to earn a spot in Sunday’s title game against Union Olimpija, scoring the last 11 points of the contest to come from down six to earn the victory.

Krka ran off the last six points of the first quarter to build a seven-point cushion, 19:12, after the first 10. Helios countered at the start of the second by running off eight straight to get the lead back. Aleksandar Ponjavic dropped in 10 for Helios in the second quarter, while Smiljan Pavic and Domen Lorbek contributed six each to Krka’s 21 in the frame. Helios outscored Krka 21:26 in the quarter to head into the break having cut the gap to two, 40:38. The clubs exchanged baskets in the early part of the third until Krka knocked down six unanswered to push their lead to nine. Blaz Mahkovic dropped in a jumper for Helios with 30 seconds to play to cut the margin to seven, setting up the final quarter with a score of 58:51. Matic Rebec sank a triple for Helios three minutes into the final frame to cut the gap to three, that after a Jake Hatter single for Krka, Ponjavic connected on a jumper to pull Helios to within two, 62:60. Krka scored the next four to push the lead back to six, 66:60 with just under five minutes to play. From there, Krka wouldn’t see another ball hit the cords on their end of the court as they missed seven shots in the final five minutes and committed three turnovers, while Helios would run off 11 unanswered and go from down six to a five-point lead and a place in the finals.

Gezim Morina led Helios with 15 points, Ponjavic added 14 and Matic dropped in 12. Lorbek was game-high for Krka with 19 points, Jure Lalic added 15 and Pavic tallied 10.

Finals (Feb. 10)
Union Olimpija – Helios Domžale

Spanish Cup – “Copa del Rey”:
Quarterfinals (Thurs., Feb. 7):
Real Madrid – FC Barcelona Regal, 108:111 2OT
Caja Laboral – CAI Zaragoza, 88:64

Quarterfinals (Fri., Feb. 8):
Valencia Basket – Asefa Estudiantes, 77:59
Herbalife Gran Canarias – Uxue Bilbao Basket, 74:62

Semi-Finals (Sat., Feb. 9):
FC Barcelona Regal – Caja Laboral, 80:69
FC Barcelona Regal qualified for the championship match for a record-setting fourth consecutive year with an 11-point win over Caja Laboral on Saturday. It was a tight contest until the fourth quarter when Regal broke the contest open with a 16:0 run to secure their spot in the finals.

Caja got out to an early lead, 7:16, with three minutes to play in the frame. Regal quickly countered with a series of triples and cut the margin to one, 18:19 at the end of the quarter. Caja added three to their lead in the second quarter to head into the dressing rooms with a 35:39 margin. Regal was able to cut the margin by two in the third frame, to set up the final frame with the score 55:57. The final 10 was a disaster for Caja as Regal was able to run off 16 unanswered to take control of the contest and earn their fourth trip to the finals in four years.

J.C. Navarro was game-high with 20 points for Regal, Erazem Lorbek added 12 points to the win. Maciej Lampe was top scorer for Caja with 15 points and the trio of Andres Nocioni, Tibor Pleiss and Thomas Heurtel added 11 points each.

Valencia Basket – Herbalife Gran Canarias, 83:72
Valencia Basket earned their first trip to the finals of the “Copa del Rey” in seven years with an 83:72 win over Herbalife Gran Canarias on Saturday. Valencia used a solid first half where they outscored Gran Canarias 39:22 in the first 20 and held off an attempted comeback to earn their spot in the finals.

Valencia got out 8:2 to start the first quarter and ended the 10 with a 7:3 run to finish the quarter up 17:10. Another scoring run, this time 10:2, mid-way through the second frame gave Valencia a 27:14 advantage with five minutes to play in the half. With two minutes left, the margin was 18, 36:18, and a triple at the buzzer sent the clubs to their locker rooms with the score 39:22. The third quarter opened with Gran Canarias knocking down six unanswered. As the quarter unfolded they were able to cut the gap to eight, 43:51 with a minute to play in the frame, but Valencia ran off eight to end the quarter, doubling their lead to 16 as the fourth started. Valencia was able to extend their margin to 22 mid-way through the fourth, 77:55. In the last five minutes Gran Canarias outscored their opponents 6:17, but it wasn’t nearly enough to prevent Valencia from booking a date with Regal in the finals on Sunday.

Justin Doellman was game-high with 21 for Valencia, Pau Ribas added 16, and Vitor Faverani dropped in 15. Ryan Toolson led the way for Gran Canarias with 17, Brad Newley added 16, and spencer Nelson contributed 11.

Finals (Feb. 10)
FC Barcelona Regal – Valencia Basket

Turkish Cup – “Spor Toto Turkiye Kupasi”:
Semi-Finals (Feb. 8 – Eskişehir, Anadolu Univ.):
Besiktas JK Istanbul vs. Fenerbahce Ulker, 66:75
Banvit BK Bandirma vs. Galatasaray Medical Park, 68:81OT

Finals (Feb. 10 – Eskişehir, Anadolu Univ.)
Fenerbahce Ulker – Galatasaray Medical Park

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