BASKETBALL IN EUROPE
|Krasnye Krylia kept their chances alive in their VTB play-off series against CSKA Moscow with a narrow win in Game 3|
Krasnye Krylia do battle for a place in the VTB League semi-finals as the same stage of the play-offs tips off in the French Pro A; Tuesday sees the start of the semi-finals in Germany and Belgium.
EuroChallenge champions Krasnye Krylia have taken their VTB United League quarter-final series against CSKA Moscow into a fourth game, after they out-defended the Turkish Airlines Euroleague semi-finalists to win Game 3 at home, 50-49.
CSKA lead the series 2-1 and can clinch a place in the semi-finals if they prevail in Game 4 on Monday, again in Samara, while if Krasnye Krylia reach a second consecutive success they will send the series into Game 5, back in Moscow.
In a Game 3 that was dominated by defence, Omar Thomas had 14 points and seven rebounds while Evgeny Kolesnikov and Andre Smith contributed 10 points each to help the EuroChallenge champions stay alive in the race for a semi-final spot.
The winner of this series will face Khimki while the other semi-final series is between Lithuanian champions Zalgiris Kaunas and EuroCup champions Lokomotiv Kuban.
OLDENBURG IN BUNDESLIGA SEMIS
EuroChallenge semi-finalists EWE Baskets Oldenburg were the last team to qualify to the German BEKO Bundesliga play-off semi-finals, after clinching an 89-80 win at home over a side that reached the EuroChallenge quarter-finals, Telekom Baskets Bonn, in the decisive Game 5 of their play-off series at the weekend.
Oldenburg will now face ratiopharm Ulm in a best-of-five series that starts on Tuesday night, while reigning Bundesliga champions Brose Baskets Bamberg will go up against FC Bayern Munich in the other semi-final series, that gets under way on Wednesday.
Bonn led their hosts 43-42 at half-time in Game 5 but Oldenburg came up with a big third quarter, in which they outscored their guests 27-15 to turn the tables around and gain a cushion that proved enough despite Bonn's sustained charge in the final frame.
Guard Christopher Kramer led the winners with 20 points and seven rebounds, Adam Chubb and Julius Jenkins finished with 13 points apiece while Ronald Burrell and Rickey Paulding added 12 points and four rebounds each for Oldenburg.
Kyle Weems put in another brilliant display for Bonn and collected a game-high 23 points in a losing effort.
|Blake Schilb and his Chalon team-mates will face surprise package Nanterre in the French semi-finals |
SEMI-FINALS TIP OFF IN FRANCE, BELGIUM
Reigning French Pro A champions Chalon/Saône commence their semi-final battle against Nanterre on Monday, while the other league semi-final series between Strasbourg and Lyon-Villeurbanne tips off on Tuesday.
Nanterre are the surprise package of the French play-offs this season as they eliminated Regular Season winners and EuroChallenge semi-finalists BCM Gravelines Dunkerque with a 2-0 series win in the quarter-finals to reach the last four of the post-season.
Meanwhile in Belgium, the Ethias League play-off semi-final battles commence on Tuesday with reigning champions Telenet BC Oostende taking on Okapi Aalstar in a best-of-five series.
In the other semi-final match-up, that starts on Wednesday, Belgacom Spirou Basket will go head to head with Belfius Mons-Hainaut.
Oostende had finished in first place in the Regular Season while Spirou had taken second spot and both sides qualified directly to the semi-finals of the play-offs.
Mons-Hainaut and Okapi meanwhile, which had both competed in the EuroChallenge this season, had taken third and fourth place, respectively, in the Regular Season standings.