Regular Season Game Day 3 concluded on Wednesday and helped clear the picture in groups A-through-D, as four teams stayed perfect to gain a significant advantage in their bid to qualify to the Last 16 of the EuroChallenge.
|Bobby Maze and Keravnos improved to 2-1 in Group B standings on Wednesday night|
Tofas Bursa and KRKA Novo Mesto went into their Tuesday clash tied at 1-1 and both sides showed just how much they disliked having company in second place in the standings.
After a low-scoring first quarter the Turkish hosts pulled away in the second to take an 11-point lead at half-time.
The Slovenians however fought back in the third to reduce the gap to just two points.
KRKA went up 62-59 with 38 seconds left on the clock after Domen Lorbek hit a big three but Tofas point guard Steven Burtt followed his example from beyond the arc on the next possession to tie the scores at 62.
First the visitors and then the hosts missed their chance to win the game in the dying seconds of regulation and the thrilling encounter went into overtime.
Tofas scored a whopping 20 points to prevail in the extra period and ultimately clinched an 82-79 victory to improve to 2-1 on the table.
Burtt and Austin Nichols led the way for Tofas with 19 points each, with the playmaker also dishing out seven assists.
Pinar Karsiyaka continued their unbeaten march in Group A with a comfortable victory over Michelin ETHA Engomi in Cyprus.
Karsiyaka forward Ümit Sonkol led all scorers with 22 points and Robert Dixon chipped in with 16 and seven assists.
Group A Standings: Pinar Karsiyaka 3-0; Tofas Bursa 2-1; KRKA Novo Mesto 1-2; Michelin ETHA Engomi 0-3
Krasnye Krylia made easy work of their trip to Finland and claimed a 96-86 victory over Joensuun Kataja to extend their winning streak to three games.
The group leaders scored 56 points in the first half to lead by 22 already at the interval and increased the gap to 27 after the third buzzer.
The Russian side took their foot off the gas in the final frame and the gritty Finns fought till the final buzzer, scoring 34 points in the period, but it was too little, too late.
Five Krasnye Krylia players scored in double digits with 21-year-old forward Nikita Balashov collecting a double-double of 14 points and 12 rebounds.
Keravnos Strovolou benefited from this result and climbed to second on the table on Wednesday night.
The Cypriots overcame a slow start against CSU Asesoft Ploiesti and finished strong to win 88-76 behind inspired performance by Bobby Maze and Antonio Crocker.
Maze finished with 23 points on 63% shooting from the field and added five assists and three steals, while his fellow American contributed 20 points, five assists and four steals.
Group B Standings: Krasnye Krylia 3-0; Keravnos Strovolou 2-1; Joensuun Kataja 1-2; CSU Asesoft Ploiesti 0-3.
All good things come to an end but, sometimes, a team that enjoys a great run of form in all competitions and is prepared to fight tooth and nail can postpone the inevitable.
This was the case with BK Ventspils on Tuesday night in Sweden.
The Latvians trailed Södertälje Kings by as many as 10 points in the first half but started chipping away at the hosts' advantage in the third quarter.
Ventspils took a slim lead in the fourth and managed to hold on to it until the end to claim an 82-80 win and preserve their perfect record.
Folarin Campbell led the winners with 19 points, four rebounds and five assists.
Sandis Valters and Donald Sims added 16 points apiece for Ventspils.
The defeat of the Kings was good news for the other Swedish team in the group, Norrköping Dolphins, who were in action on Wednesday.
They made the most of their home-court advantage by beating Finnish league leaders Tampereen Pyrintö 84-73 and now enjoy the solitude of second place with a 2-1 record.
Anton Saks, who made three of his five shots from behind the arc, led the winners with 17 points.
Group C Standings: BK Ventspils 3-0; Norrköping Dolphins 2-1; Södertälje Kings 1-2; Tampereen Pyrintö 0-3.
|Tartu Rock center Ivan Nelyubov returned his best EuroChallenge figures of the season in Week 3|
In a battle of unbeaten sides, Gaz Metan Medias snapped Khimik Yuzhne's winning streak and extended their own to three games on Tuesday with a hard-fought 88-86 success.
The Ukrainian side came storming out and established a nine-point lead at the end of the first quarter but the hosts recovered fast from the initial shock to balance proceedings already by the beginning of the second half.
The Romanians never managed to pull away though and the lead changed hands several times until the last minutes, when the hosts' assertiveness from the free throw line sealed the victory.
Five Medias players combined for 77 of their team's 88 points, with captain Titus Nicoara scoring 21 and the frontcourt duo of Deven Mitchell and Ivan Ivanovic adding 17 each.
In the other game of the group Tartu Rock put their homecourt advantage to good use and recorded their first success in the Regular Season at the expense of JDA Dijon, 74-62.
The hosts led from start to finish and used a 9-0 run in the third period to take a 57-40 lead and effectively secure the win, despite a last-ditch attempt at a comeback by the French side in the final frame.
Russian center Ivan Nelyubov, in his best game in the competition so far, led the Estonians with 15 points and eight rebounds.
Group D Standings: Gaz Metan Medias 3-0; Khimik Yuzhne 2-1; Tartu Rock 1-2; JDA Dijon 0-3.
For Groups E-through-H click here