By Yarone Arbel
Week two in the Last 16 saw only three teams remain perfect and a four-way tie already in Group I where all teams stand on a 1-1 record.
Banvit BC, KK Buducnost and Belgacom Liege are still looking for their first win in the advanced phase, where big dramas a unique team and individual performances form the top 10 numbers of the week.
3 and 5 in 5: Proteas EKA AEL edged Eiffeltowers Den Bosch 87-85 after overtime, and those extra five minutes were worth it all. In that time frame the Cypriot fans saw the lead change hands five times and three tied scores before the local Michalis Kounounis scored the winning shot to set a four-way tie in Group I.
14+14 > 13 + 3: This week as well delivered only one major blow out and it was Roanne Basket's 76-53 win over Banvit BC in Group L. The game featured two similar players who take a key role in their teams - Roanne's Uche Nsonwu and Banvit's Lance Williams. Both are very strong inside players with good size already in their 30's that can take over a game. Nsonwu did that only last week with a 23 point and 16 rebound performance. Williams wrote a monster 20-20 double-double earlier in the season. On Tuesday night there was one team on court, and of the two players only one showed up. Williams was the top scorer of his team but reached only 13 and a very low 3 rebounds, while the Nigerian big guy of the locals reached his second double-double in a row, this time with 14 points and 14 rebounds.
11 in 3rd, 31 in 4th: Elan Chalon dropped an important home game against Apoel Nicosia and the first blame is their inconsistency. The French side scored in the third quarter only 11 points, with just a single field goal in the last eight minutes to enter the closing period down 64-47. Such an uncomfortable situation woke up the locals who then scored no less than 31 points in the fourth quarter, the best scoring performance of the week per quarter, but it was too few, too late.
16 in 16: Scavolini Pesaro wrote a key 90-77 home win over KK Buducnost, to take a 2-0 record in Group L, and made it thanks to just a single missed free throw in 18 shots. Actually the locals missed their second attempt of the night, early in the first quarter, and made all the following 16 attempts. In such an important game such high level of concentration, spread between five different players who marched to the foul line, says good things about the team from Pesaro and coach Luca Dalmonte's pre-game mental preparation.
13.8%: Antwerp Giants hit on four three point shots in no less than 29 attempts this week. That's a poor accuracy of 13.8%. Nevertheless, they have found the path to beat Enisey Krasoyarsk 81-72 following a big fourth quarter run. That's also when they scored half of their baskets from the arc.
2 of 23 in 45: If you thought Antwerp didn't shoot the ball well, take a look at BG Gottingen. The team from Germany can claim Antwerp did it in front of familiar rim while they had to make a trip to Samara but the facts are cold and unpleasant. Gottingen hit only two shots in 23 attempts during 45 minutes of play time from the three point line, but just like the Giants' case it wasn't a difference maker. The squad of coach John Patrick eventually lost a tough road game only in overtime.
5: Luis Flores of Krasnye Krylia is one of the best scorers in the competition. Coming into to this week's clash he had only one game with less than 18 points, and that was also the game where he played the least minutes (nine points in 17 minutes). Yet, something didn't work well for the Dominican guard on Tuesday. He scored the last bucket of the game, a three pointer when the winner was already decided, to reach 10 points yet on this night he spent on court more time than the usual possible maximum with 42 minutes. Considering his field goals ratio - only 4 in 16 attempts, this was clearly his worst performance in the competition, scoring wise, but for Flores it was the best chance to example his greatness. When things didn't work in getting the ball through the rim he spent more time sharing it with his friends and dished a season high of 5 assists. He also helped in the rebound department and pulled down 6 balls as his second best rebounding performance. Very few scorers will write a season high in assists on their scoring low night, but Flores is on that list.
14 big Biggs: While Flores didn't shoot well, Krasnye saw their best offensive production with Ralph Biggs who posted two season highs with 22 points and nine rebounds, but the timing of his points made the whole difference. It started 25 seconds before the end of the fourth quarter. Gottingen held a 62-57 lead when Biggs scored twice from the free throw line. 17 seconds later he repeated the action and forced a 64-64 tie to send the game to overtime, but he only got started. The American forward scored back-to-back three-pointers and added a jumper to cap an individual 8-0 run in the first two minutes of the extra period. Two additional hits from the line pushed him to 14 points in the last 5:30 minutes of the game without a single miss.
All 3's: Belgacome Liege entered their last quarter on the road against Artland Dragons down 66-57 after a great third quarter by the local side. Eventually the last quarter didn't effect the final score much, as the gap never went below six, but what stood out in Liege's 21 points in the closing period was that all the points were scored from beyond the arc. To be accurate Liege scored 6 three pointers in eight attempts (not including the one with the buzzer), and added three more points from the line, which obviously resulted from a foul called during a three point attempt. The dragons took only two attempts from the arc, and hit one, but found the path inside the perimeter to secure the win.
10 out of 20: BC FMP's 22-year-old center Miroslav Raduljica won the MVP of the week award for leading his team to a big 83-78 road win in Zagreb and a 2-0 record, with 26 points, six rebounds, four assists and three steals but a zoom in on his last minutes show just how big he was on Tuesday night. FMP entered the last 5 minutes in a 63-63 tie, and until the final buzzer scored no less than 20 points - nearly one quarter of their game total. Raduljica was in charge on half of these points when he scored 5 and dished two passes which turned into another five.