BASKETBALL IN EUROPE
|Abdul Aminu led the way for Pinar Karsiyaka with 23 points and nine rebounds|
Pinar Karsiyaka edged out Fenerbahce Ulker 81-78 at home on Tuesday night, in Game 2 of their Turkish BEKO Ligi first round play-off series, and qualified triumphantly to the semi-finals of the competition.
The EuroChallenge finalists had defeated the Euroleague outfit 74-68 in the first game of their quarter-final series in Istanbul last Friday.
They will now face in the next round Galatasaray Medical Park, the team that finished top of the Regular Season standings and also swept their first round play-off series, after blowing away Tofas Bursa 82-49 in Game 2 on Tuesday on the road.
"Reaching this year's play-off semi-finals is a reward for our struggles all year long, and beating a team like Fenerbahce 2-0 is not easy," said Karsiyaka small forward Caner Topaloglu.
On Tuesday, Karsiyaka did not produce one of their epic defensive displays to limit their guests' productivity, but rather matched them - and outscored them - on the offensive end instead.
The two sides headed into the locker rooms at the interval with the scores tied at 37, with the Izmir side relying on second-chance points to edge ahead 61-59 and maintain this lead until the final buzzer, as they out-rebounded Fener 41-27.
Big man Abdul Aminu was immense for the hosts, leading the way with 23 points on 9-for-15 shooting from the floor and nine rebounds while point guard Robert Dixon had 15 points, seven assists and five rebounds.
Power forward Umit Sonkol, who was Karsiyaka's hero in the Game 1 success in Istanbul, was the third player to score in double digits for the winners on Tuesday and finished with 12 points and eight rebounds.
Banvit were the first team to qualify to the BEKO Ligi semi-finals, by defeating Besiktas in Game 2 of their series on Monday, and will face the winner of a do-or-die third encounter between Anadolu Efes and TED Ankara that takes place on Wednesday.
OLDENBURG FALL IN OVERTIME
In Germany meanwhile, EuroChallenge semi-finalists EWE Baskets Oldenburg lost 86-84 to ratiopharm Ulm at home after overtime, in Game 1 of their best-of-five BEKO Bundesliga semi-final series.
Oldenburg were in control for most of the game and took a 7-point advantage in the beginning of the fourth quarter but John Bryant hit a three with 1:07 left on the clock to tie the scores at 79-79.
Neither of the two sides managed to score in the remaining time in regulation, with the encounter going into overtime and the guests maintaining their calm to clinch the big win on the road.
Bryant led the way for Ulm with a 24-point, 12-rebound double-double while Allan Ray scored 16 and German international Per Gunther contributed 12 points, five assists and five rebounds.
For Oldenburg, guard Julius Jenkins had a team-high 21 points, Rickey Paulding had 18 points and Dru Joyce finished with 17 points, five rebounds and five assists.