|Dwight Buycks was leading the Carnival celebrations in Gravline, scoring a team-high 17 points|
Carnival celebrations were in full spin at the weekend in Gravelines, in the north of France, when Paris Levallois arrived in town intending to spoil the party and take sweet revenge on local side BCM.
The Parisians were defeated 82-77 by their hosts in EuroChallenge Group J action on 22 January, following a calamitous third quarter in which they were outscored 28-9.
This time around, in a Week 18 Pro A encounter, the visitors looked the part throughout the entire first half, taking a seven-point lead at the interval, while BCM gave the impression they had celebrated a little bit too much the previous night.
But when the dreaded third quarter came along for the Parisians, memories of the EuroChallenge clash resurfaced, to the delight of the colourfully dressed local crowd, as Paris only managed to score a meagre six points, while BCM scored 18 of their own to go ahead and start pulling away.
The hosts then further extended the lead in the final stanza and reached an 81-70 triumph that keeps them at the top of the Pro A standings, tied with Strasbourg with a 13-5 record, allowing the party in the streets of Gravelines to begin in earnest.
Point guard Dwight Buycks had 17 points and four assists for BCM while Juan Edwards added 14 points and eight rebounds and Kennedy Winston, who joined the team during the winter break, finished with 11 points and nine rebounds.
Jawad Williams had another excellent game for Paris and led all scorers with 24 points in a losing effort.
KARSIYAKA, TOFAS WIN IN TURKEY
Pinar Karsiyaka extended their winning streak in the Turkish BEKO Ligi to five games on Saturday, after suffocating EuroChallenge 2012 champions Besiktas 70-59 on the road.
The visitors were trailing by four points at half-time but gave up only 27 points to their hosts in the second half, as they forced Besiktas to shoot a poor 35% from the field on their own court.
William Thomas led all Karsiyaka scorers with 16 points, Can Mutaf had 15 and John Diebler chipped in with 14.
Karsiyaka improved to 14-3 and stay in third place on the table, while the other Turkish EuroChallenge side, Tofas SC Bursa, registered their first success since the departure, last week, of point guard Steven Burtt and remain in the race for a play-off spot.
Tofas had to work extra hard at Mersin BŞB as they came from behind to tie the scores at 76 at the end of regulation and force overtime.
They outscored their hosts 12-9 in the extra period to claim an 88-85 victory behind a 21-point display by Lithuanian Mindaugas Lukauskis and an impressive 14-point, 15-rebound double-double by big man Chinemelu Elonu.
BIG WINS FOR OLDENBURG, BONN IN GERMANY
A sold-out EWE Arena saw EWE Baskets Oldenburg come up with a big performance at both ends of the floor on Sunday to dominate Turkish Airlines Euroleague side Alba Berlin, 82-67.
Oldenburg delivered a master class of team play on offence with 18 assists (to their opponent's six), while they also forced the Berliners to 15 turnovers with their aggressive defence.
Rickey Paulding had the hot hand and went 6-for-9 from three-point range to lead all scorers with 22 points, while Chris Kramer was 6-for-11 from the field and finished with 16 points, four rebounds and four steals.
Oldenburg improved to 13-6 with the win and climbed to third place in the German BEKO Bundesliga standings, with Alba dropping to fifth.
Telekom Baskets Bonn meanwhile returned to the top-eight on the Bundesliga table with a big road win at s.Oliver Baskets, 58-74.
The visitors had a slim three-point lead at half-time but they shut down their hosts in the third quarter half, giving up only nine points.
They widened the gap to 16-points in that period and held on in the final frame, as they forced s.Oliver to shoot a poor 31.7 percent from the field.
Bonn point guard Jared Jordan led all scorers with 20 points and added five rebounds while Kyle Weems contributed 13 points, five rebounds and three assists.
OKAPI CATCH A BREAK
|Ryan Thompson shouldered the duties Okapi Aalstar who were missing up to four of their frontline players|
Okapi Aalstar dug deep and performed a minor miracle in the Belgian Ethias League on Friday night, in front of an ecstatic home crowd, to return to second place in the standings, tied with Belfius Mons-Hainaut.
Playing without four of their top players (Derek Raivio, Noah Hartsock, Larry Anderson and his replacement, Bradley Tinsley), Okapi came from 11 points down to outscore Belgacom Spirou Basket 100-97.
The hosts earned the win thanks to a massive collective effort, as only seven of their players took to the floor and four of them combined for 89 points.
Ryan Thompson led the charge with 25 points, Thomas Dreesen had 21, Ioana Tofi 19 and seven rebounds while Christopher Young finished with a double-double of 16 points and ten rebounds.
KRASNYE KRYLIA CAN DO NO WRONG
Russian EuroChallenge side Krasnye Krylia are on a roll and it would take much more than a poor fourth quarter for them to have their winning streak snapped at this point.
The Samara outfit had already established a 12-point cushion over PGE Turow by the third buzzer in their VTB United League clash on Sunday, and despite their Polish rivals attempting a comeback in the fourth quarter, they still managed to hold on for an 81-77 victory.
Chester Simmons and Aaron Miles led the way for the hosts with double-double performances.
Simmons finished with 14 points and 10 rebounds while the point guard had 13 points and 10 assists.
Krasnye Krylia improved to 10-3 with the Sunday win and remain in second spot in the VTB Regular Season Group A standings.