Three teams from groups A-through-D secured a place in the Last 16 of the EuroChallenge during Week 4, while two sides slumped to defeats that leave them with no chance of advancing to the next phase of the competition.
|Pinar Karsiyaka are one of three teams to be still undefeated after four gamedays |
It's easier to pass a basketball through the eye of a needle than score against Pinar Karsiyaka these days, especially when they play at home.
Tofas SC Bursa shot just 33 percent from the floor on Tuesday against the best defence in the EuroChallenge and Karsiyaka maintained a firm grip on proceedings throughout, to win 78-56.
It was the fourth victory of the Izmir team in as many games and they punched their ticket to the Last 16 by doing what they do best - suffocate opponents.
On the other end of the floor, there was hardly a Karsiyaka possession whose outcome was not decided by Robert Dixon, who scored 16 points and dished out a season-best 12 assists.
Tofas are now tied in second place on the table with KRKA Novo Mesto, after the Slovenian side eased past Michelin ETHA Engomi on the road, 74-59.
KRKA took a 13-point lead in the first quarter and never looked back, even affording to give time on the court to all the players on their 11-man squad.
Edo Muric led all scorers with 19 points and Smiljan Pavic collected a double-double of 16 points and 10 rebounds.
The Tuesday defeat, their fourth consecutive in the competition, left the Cypriot team with no chance of advancing to the Last 16.
GROUP STANDINGS: Pinar Karsiyaka 4-0; Tofas SC Bursa 2-2; KRKA Novo Mesto 2-2; Michelin ETHA Engomi 0-4.
Krasnye Krylia were not in action at the weekend and their freshness showed on Wednesday night in Cyprus.
The Samara outfit breezed past Keravnos Strovolou 82-51 and qualified to the Last 16 in style.
The hosts started strong and led 22-17 at the first buzzer but then run out of fuel as the Russians took a five-point lead at half-time and then stepped on the gas after the interval, outscoring the Cypriot side 48-22.
Nikita Balashov led all scorers with 18 points and Omar Thomas chipped in with 16 for Krasnye Krylia.
On Tuesday, Joensuun Kataja made sure there would be one contender for the remaining Last 16 ticket from the group by claiming an 80-67 victory away to CSU Asesoft Ploiesti.
Jermaine Flowers was immense for the winners, pouring in 28 points on 59-percent shooting from the field and grabbing 10 rebounds
The small forward had plenty of support from Finnish international Petri Virtanen who scored 17 points in 19 minutes on the floor.
GROUP STANDINGS: Krasnye Krylia 4-0; Keravnos Strovolou 2-2; Joensuun Kataja 2-2; CSU Asesoft Ploiesti 0-4.
|Sandis Valters was the top scorer for BK Ventspils, as they cruised to victory at Norrköpping|
Going into Tuesday's game against Norrköping Dolphins in Sweden, BK Ventspils had lost only once in 16 competitive games on three different fronts this season.
They needed just one more win to secure their passage to the Last 16 of the EuroChallenge.
The Dolphins on the other hand had lost only one game in the last month - against Ventspils, 72-68, when the two sides met on the opening day of the Regular Season.
For most of the game, everything pointed to an encounter as tight as that first one in Latvia.
Then Ventspils decided they quite liked their unbeaten run and wanted to prolong it.
The Latvians started pulling away in the third quarter and outscored their hosts 21-8 in the final frame to clinch a 69-51 victory and celebrate punching their ticket to the next phase of the EuroChallenge.
Sandis Valters led a very balanced Ventspils offence with 15 points, but their tough-as-nails defence was what decided the outcome.
The Dolphins were a mere 16-for-58 (26.7%) from the floor and only one player on the Swedish team, Oladapo Ayuba, scored in double digits.
Meanwhile in Finland, Tampereen Pyrintö claimed a first victory in the Regular Season at just the right time.
The Finns defeated Södertälje Kings 73-65 at home and avoided a fourth straight loss that would condemn them to missing out on the Last 16 train prematurely.
The eight-point margin will give the Tampere outfit the edge over the Swedes in case of an eventual tie in the standings between the two teams.
An inspired Lamonte Ulmer led all scorers with 24 points and seven rebounds while his Pyrintö team-mate Damon Williams picked up a double-double of 19 points and 10 boards.
GROUP STANDINGS: BK Ventspils 4-0; Norrkoping Dolphins; Tampereen Pyrintö 1-3; Södertälje Kings 1-3.
Gaz Metas Medias and Khimik Yuzhne had the chance to deal killing blows on Tuesday night, but Tartu University Rock and JDA Dijon managed to turn the group into one of the most interesting in the Regular Season.
Medias started off very well in France and led by nine points in the first quarter, until Dijon realised the only way to fight against the free-scoring Romanians was by bringing up the tempo a notch.
They levelled the scores, 37-37, midway through the second quarter and managed to establish a slim lead towards the end of the third.
The French team held on to claim an 83-79 victory, their first in the competition, and snatched the Romanians' unbeaten streak.
Terrence Campbell with 24 points and Andre Harris with 23 led the way for the winners.
The other game in the group was quite similar, in that the home team had to win at all costs but got off to a slow start.
Khimik led 47-41 at half-time but Tartu Rock came back from the locker rooms determined to make a stand.
Propelled by an enthusiastic 1,800-strong crowd, the hosts outscored the Ukranian side 28-13 in the third quarter and further widened the gap in the fourth.
The Estonians registered an important 94-77 victory which more than makes up for the one-point loss they had suffered in Yuzhne, should the two teams finish tied in the standings.
Ten players wrote their name on the score-sheet for Tartu, with Ivan Nelyubov and Justin Ingram scoring 16 points apiece.
GROUP STANDINGS: Gaz Metas Medias 3-1; Tartu University Rock 2-2; Khimik Yuzhne 2-2; JDA Dijon 1-3
For Groups E-H click here