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|
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.
Group A Standings: Pinar Karsiyaka 3-0; Tofas Bursa 2-1; KRKA Novo Mesto 1-2; Michelin ETHA Engomi 0-3
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.
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.
The defeat of the Kings was good news for the other Swedish team in the group, Norrköping Dolphins, who were in action on Wednesday.
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|
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.
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.