It was a big day for Turkish clubs in the Basketball Champions League. Galatasaray Nef and Tofas Bursa reached the Round of 16 by clinching first places in their groups. MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg did the same in Group A, sending Lenovo Tenerife to Play-In Series.
Meanwhile, Banco di Sardegna Sassari is out of the hunt with a game remaining.
Zubcic, Cruz come up big for Tofas
Filou Oostende hosted Tofas Bursa with a chance to complicate things in Group F. But at the same time, with the other results going their way, this was also a game that could’ve sent Tofas Bursa to the Round of 16.
Teams traded blows throughout the 40 minutes, and it seemed the Belgian champs were in control, up 67-62 in the fourth quarter. Tomislav Zubcic and Pako Cruz found a perfect response for the Turkish side, exchanging three-pointers that not only put Tofas in front but put them out of reach, too.
Oostende had one last run in them when Dusan Djordjevic cut the gap to 76-78 in the final minute, but even as Berk Ugurlu missed both free throws, Tofas got the offensive rebound. Cruz went 1-of-2 from the line to make it a three-point game, which allowed coach Ahmet Caki to play the fouling game and not allow a three-point attempt.
It finished 83-78, good enough to send Tofas to 4-1. Since they own the tiebreaker over SIG Strasbourg, they will finish first no matter what happens in the last game.
Oostende, meanwhile, know they are in the Play-In series, as Kalev/Cramo cannot catch them anymore.
Prometey dominant to eliminate Sassari
With Prometey winning the first game in Sassari, the Ukrainian champions knew that any win at home would send them through to the Play-In Series while also ending the hopes of Banco di Sardegna Sassari.
The score at half didn’t look good for Sassari, since they were trailing by 21 at one point in the second quarter. But any hopes of a comeback were erased, with Ronen Ginzburg’s team holding Banco di Sardegna to just nine points in the third quarter.
The lead ballooned to +35 late in the fourth quarter. The final score was 89-56, sending Prometey to 2-3 and Sassari to 1-4.
Galatasaray Nef the second to advance to Round of 16
With Igokea defeating ERA Nymburk on Tuesday, Galatasaray Nef got a chance to clinch first place in the group with a win over PAOK mateco. Behind their fans in the stands, Ekrem Memnun’s men led from start to finish, winning the game 87-75, sailing away to the Round of 16.
They became the second team to do so, following BAXI Manresa’s example in Group B.
Ludwigsburg also through to Round of 16
Before the season started, it seemed like Lenovo Tenerife were strong favorites to win Group A. But MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg had other plans, winning the first game in Germany by 11 and then adding an exclamation mark in Spain, with a 99-83 triumph in San Cristobal de La Laguna.
John Patrick’s team opened up a double-digit lead by the end of the first quarter and got to 53 points before the halftime break. Tenerife tried fighting back, but every time they seemed to be on their way to a single-digit deficit, Ludwigsburg had a thunderous answer.